- Angel Biotechnology [LON:ABH] is still awaiting the conclusion of a joint venture which it says is crucial to securing its future.

At the general meeting to be held today at 10.30 am, Nick Smith, Chairman of the Company will make the following statement to shareholders:

'I would like to provide shareholders with an update on the joint venture negotiations with OOO "NPF Materia Medica Holding" and other activities of the Company. As announced on 28 December 2012, AB Biotechnology Ltd has been formed as the company through which our proposed joint venture with MMH will be conducted. At the time, it was expected that the agreements would be signed in mid-January when the directors of both partners would be on-site at Pentlands Science Park and a more detailed announcement of the terms of the joint venture would be released at that time.

'I am pleased to state that key terms have been agreed in principle and we are now expecting the visit from MMH to take place in early February, subject to visa confirmation. However, the Company has not progressed documentation as quickly as anticipated, owing to a decision by the Angel Board to review its options in light of the trading difficulties and the loss of capital which has occasioned today's general meeting.

'This review is now complete and has shown that the future of the Company is dependent on not only delivering the proposed joint venture with MMH but also on the delivery of a second arrangement, outlined below, concurrent with the proposed MMH transaction. It is the Directors' view that both transactions are necessary to effectively address the trading difficulties experienced by the Company to date, and that without both, the cash resources of the Company are at risk of exhaustion by the end of March 2013. The Directors anticipate that the proposed agreement described below should be ready for signature before the end of March 2013.

'Whilst Angel's business development team is progressing a number of sales opportunities, securing Angel's first orders for Cramlington are taking longer than the Board had anticipated. The Board also accepts that raising funds through the market will be extremely difficult at this time.

'Accordingly, in order to secure the future of the Company, the Board has agreed that the Company needs to enter into a strategic relationship with another party to develop more effectively its contract manufacturing ("CMO") business. The Company has for some time been in discussions with a consortium of overseas organisations active in developing and marketing products which match our core manufacturing competences. Following a meeting with a representative of the consortium at Cramlington on Friday 25 January 2013, matters have now progressed sufficiently to satisfy the Board that there are reasonable grounds for the Board to expect a strategic partnership agreement with that consortium will be concluded before the end of March 2013.'

At 10:14am: [LON:ABH] share price was +0p at 0.08p

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