SCOTTISH life sciences company Omega Diagnostics is to sell most of its infectious diseases business to French group Novacyt in a deal worth up to £2.175 million.

The Clackmannanshire-based diagnostics firm’s Visitect CD4 product, which improves treatment of HIV patients in the developing world, is not part of the sale, however. Omega will use the net proceeds of the sale to provide working capital to commercialise the HIV test and grow its food intolerance business.

Shares in Omega jumped nearly 11 per cent on news of the sale to Novacyt, an international specialist in clinical diagnostics. A strategic review undertaken by new chief executive Colin King, who replaced Omega’s founder Andrew Shepherd in December, identified a need to refocus the direction of the business, leading it to close its German allergy business and pull the plug on its Indian manufacturing site to rein in costs.

Under the agreement, Omega will provide manufacturing and storage services for up to 12 months following completion and two employees will transfer to clinical diagnostics specialist Novacyt.

David Evans, chairman of Omega, said: “This divestment is the first stage of a process following the strategic review as we seek to realise value for shareholders in the short-term from our other assets as well as building value through the more rapid exploitation of the opportunity in CD4 testing at the point of care.”