Omega Diagnostics shares fall 20% amid Covid update

Shares of Alva-based Omega Diagnostics Group fell about 20% on Wednesday after it issued a trading update saying its turnover is expected to fall 29% to £3.16 million for the six months ended September 30.

Omega, which focuses on CD4, infectious diseases and food intolerance, is involved in developing new tests with partners for COVID-19, and has seen its shares soar about 600% over the past 12 months to give the firm a current stock market value of over £150 million.

On its COVID-19 work, Omega said: “In June, the company announced it signed a supply agreement with Mologic Ltd under which Mologic supplies raw materials to enable Omega to manufacture its CE marked ELISA antibody test.

“Following initial orders for this test, traction has not materialised as the company was originally anticipating.

“The company believes this is due, in part, to competition from ELISA antibody tests that are now available on larger automated instruments and an evolving market need that seems more geared towards lateral flow antibody tests …

“We are reviewing the potential for using the test in our in-house laboratory testing service.”

Omega added: “Since becoming involved with the UK Rapid Test Consortium in April this year, in order to jointly develop and manufacture a COVID-19 Rapid Test as part of the Government’s five pillar national testing strategy for COVID-19, the company has supported Abingdon Health Ltd, lead partner of the UK-RTC, in developing and CE marking its AbC-19 Rapid test. 

“The manufacturing processes have since been successfully transferred from Abingdon to Omega. 

“Following the announcement earlier this month that the company has signed a supply contract with Abingdon to enable Abingdon to supply the Department of Health and Social Care, the company remains on track to increase capacity to produce up to 200,000 AbC-19 Rapid tests per week by the end of November, with the capacity contributing to the overall target of 300,000 lateral flow tests per week mentioned above.

“This capacity will be used initially to manufacture tests to supply Abingdon so that it may meet the requirement to supply DHSC with its first purchase order of 1 million tests.

“In addition, Abingdon continues to progress self-test approval with the MHRA.

“The company is optimistic that it will see further orders materialise from DHSC and other sources, both domestic and overseas, in the second half of the current financial year …”