Omega Diagnostics shares up amid Covid test hopes

Shares of Alva-based Omega Diagnostics Group rose about 7% on Monday despite announcing results for the six months ended September 30, 2020, showing its revenue fell 29% to £3.16 million and it made a statutory loss for the period of about £280,000.

Omega outlined its expectations “for a significantly improved performance in the second half.”

The firm said it has “exciting opportunities in both antigen testing and antibody testing” for COVID-19.

Omega Diagnostics’ shares have soared about 400% over the past year.

“Omega has substantial growth opportunities in the areas of food intolerance, CD4 testing for the management of people living with HIV, and COVID-19 antibody and antigen testing and provides high quality in-vitro diagnostics products for use in hospitals, clinics, laboratories and healthcare practices in over 75 countries,” said the firm.

Omega Diagnostics Group interim chairman William Rhodes said: “We are encouraged that our financial performance in the first half, although impacted by the pandemic, was within the boundaries of sensitivity that we have been monitoring and the company expects to have a significantly improved second half performance.

“Our food Intolerance division is showing early signs of recovery in its second half performance, when comparing sales to equivalent months in the prior-year second half.

“Whilst we cannot be certain what decisions, and the related impact, might be taken by governments around the world to deal with the pandemic in the short-term, we remain confident that our food intolerance business is resilient and positioned for growth as some degree of normality returns.

“Achieving self-test regulatory approval in China for Food Detective is a significant milestone that underpins confidence, and we expect our renewed focus on the US market to bear fruit in the next financial year.

“We are particularly pleased that our VISITECT CD4 Advanced Disease received WHO prequalification in August this year, a significant mark of regulatory approval which positions the product for short-term deployment through the supply agreement with CHAI, and for longer-term deployment with financial support from a number of other NGOs which are active in supporting initiatives to manage the care of people living with HIV.

“As outlined above we have a number of exciting opportunities in both antigen testing and antibody testing for COVID-19.

“We are very encouraged by recent news with a number of vaccine candidates demonstrating efficacy in producing an immune response as we believe testing will play a crucial role in any vaccine deployment.

“We continue to make progress to significantly increase lateral flow test capacity in our manufacturing site in Alva and are on target to reach a production capacity of 500,000 tests a week by the end of December.”