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Covid-19 antigen test performs with same high accuracy on Omicron variant

SPECIALIST medical company Omega Diagnostics has said analysis from clinical samples shows that its Covid-19 antigen test performs with the same high accuracy on the Omicron variant.

Omega, which focuses on industry-leading global health and nutrition products, said its technology partner Mologic Ltd confirmed that data from analysis on clinical samples shows that its Mologic Covios Ag lateral flow test performs with the same high accuracy on the Omicron variant as it does with existing known variants.

This is the same test that is manufactured and sold for professional use by Omega as the Visitect Covid-19 antigen test.

Colin King, chief executive of Omega Diagnostics, said: “We remain encouraged by emerging commercial opportunities for our Visitect Covid-19 antigen test that we expect to be unlocked following relevant approval under CTDA regulations and CE-marking for home use.”

Last month, the company confirmed that a highly lucrative contract to make hundreds of millions of Covid tests for the UK Government had expired.

Alva-based Omega was one of two UK firms selected in March to manufacture up to 200 million rapid Covid antigen tests for the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC). The contract could have been worth up to £374 million.

The contract was in two parts, with an initial scale-up phase where the DHSC provided Omega with equipment and working capital to get production capacity in place. The DHSC was then due to select which test it wanted, triggering phase two when orders would be placed.

In recent days, DHSC has asked Omega to submit a proposal for returning the £2.5m pre-production payment made last year to purchase equipment for high-volume manufacturing at its headquarters in Alva.

However, the Omega board, having taken initial legal advice, does not believe that the company is required to repay the payment.

Mr King said: “It is clearly disappointing to receive this request for repayment given the efforts we have gone to ensure manufacturing capacity for Covid-19 lateral flow tests was available for the DHSC and that we did not progress to Phase 2 of the contract due to the lack of confirmation from the DHSC regarding which test they require us to manufacture.

“Acting in good faith we used these pre-production payments, along with our own funds, to upgrade our manufacturing facilities to be able to integrate the Government-furnished equipment and bringing on the additional staff required to be able to supply the DHSC using our UK-based volume manufacturing services.

“We therefore are confident that, having sought legal advice, we will not be required to make this repayment.”

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