OMEGA Diagnostics has revealed it has taken the first order for the Covid-19 antibody test it has been manufacturing from raw material supplied by Mologic.

The Clackmannanshire-based firm said the order, which will be shipped to Senegal, is worth £100,000, with Omega adding that it is currently engaged in registration and evaluation activities in 15 countries, which is expected to lead to more orders in the near future.

Omega said it now expects underlying profits to be in the range of £850,000 to £900,000 for the year ended March 31, ahead of market expectations.

However, the company is to take an £8.73 million hit after opting to abandon its allergy product range.

The Omega board said it was prudent to impair fully the carrying value of intangible assets for the allergy business at £8.73m, comprising capitalised development costs of £7.25m and a licence fee paid of £1.48m.

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The impairment charge will be offset by a credit to the profit and loss account of £1.02m, relating to the Scottish Enterprise grant, and the move will save £800,000 a year.

Omega also announced it has widened its collaboration with Bedfordshire-based Mologic by signing another material transfer agreement (MTA), providing the company with access to raw materials and know-how to manufacture the additional Mologic Covid-19 tests including an ELISA antigen test that determines the concentration of Covid-19 antigens in human blood, saliva or swab extract sample and so identifying an individual with an active Covid-19 infection, a lateral flow that also determines an individual with infection, and a test that determines the concentration of human antibodies in a human blood sample specifically targeting the Covid-19 antigens

Omega intends to CE-Mark the additional tests under the MTA, after which both companies will work together to commercialise the tests under an expanded supply agreement arrangement.

It said the MTA will enable Omega to broaden its growing portfolio of Covid-19 tests, using both its Scottish and English manufacturing sites more effectively, and will ensure it can meet the different needs of global healthcare systems that require both antibody tests - denoting previous infection - and antigen tests - denoting current infection - in a range of formats.

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Omega is now involved with five opportunities relating to Covid-19 testing, of which four utilise Mologic’s technology platforms, including the Covid-19 ELISA (enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay) which the company is already shipping.

Two are ELISA - lab based - tests, both antigen and antibody, and three are lateral flow, or rapid device, tests. Two of the lateral flow tests are in collaboration with Mologic and the third is an antibody test with UK Rapid Test Consortium as originally announced in April.

Colin King, Omega chief executive, said: “We are pleased that Omega has been able to widen its collaboration with Mologic which should help to expand the number of Covid-19 tests that can be run both in centralised and decentralised settings, which, along with our VISTECT CD4 tests, strengthens our position in global health.

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“The decision to stop the development of further allergens has not been taken lightly but we recognise we can achieve better returns from directing our development efforts in other areas and we look forward to providing further updates as the opportunities we have in front of us deliver on their undoubted potential.”

House broker finncap said: “We have made minor mix changes to forecasts to reflect expected sales of ELISA Covid-19 sales in FY 2021, which broadly offset the expected shortfall in food intolerance.

“Adjusted EBITDA is reduced by £200,000 to £1.6m, with adjusted pre-tax profit £300,000 higher at £700,000.

"We leave our target price under review, given the difficulty of forecasting the potential revenues of a SARS-CoV-2 POC antibody test, being developed by the UK-RTC, with any degree of accuracy.”

Shares closed at 55p, down 11.29 per cent.