Breakthrough for Scots firm
Omega secures one million government Covid tests
The test will provide ‘critical insight’
Shares in Scottish diagnostics company Omega leapt 17.7% to an all-time high of 126.95p after its consortium of developers was awarded a UK government contract for one million COVID-19 rapid antibody tests.
This first order is part of the Government’s plans to roll-out COVID-19 surveillance studies to help build a picture of how the virus has spread across the country.
Shares in the Alva-based company rose by more than 12.7% on AIM yesterday ahead of the announcement and opened almost 18% higher today as investors clamoured for stock.
The Rapid test uses a small drop of blood from a finger-prick, and shows results in 20 minutes, without the need for a patient sample to be sent to a laboratory.
The test is currently CE-Marked for professional use and can be administered by healthcare professionals, such as doctors, nurses, pharmacists and healthcare workers, at the point-of-care. The UK-RTC are seeking approval from the MHRA for self-test use.
The UK-RTC members are in the final stages of formalising an agreement for the supply of goods from members to Abingdon Health, following the Memorandum of Understanding that was signed in April 2020.
Omega expects to manufacture approximately 175,000 of these first 1 million tests. But over the term of this supply agreement, Omega will manufacture not less than 25% of the demand from total orders placed, either from the UK Government or, where allowed, third party customers.
The company expects to provide a trading update for the six months to 30 September later this month.
Colin King, CEO of Omega, commented: “We believe that the AbC-19 Rapid test has the immediate opportunity to allow the UK to build a swift and clear picture of how the virus has spread throughout the population. It also has the potential to be deployed in conjunction with vaccine candidates to help assess initial immune responses.”
UK Health Minister Lord Bethell said: “This home antibody test developed by our outstanding British scientists and researchers at the UK Rapid Test Consortium will provide critical insight into how the infection has spread, growing our understanding of coronavirus so that we can better respond to it.”