By Kristy Dorsey

Omega Diagnostics has welcomed fresh regulatory approval in China for Food Detective, its test for detecting a range of intolerances, which should further bolster its mainstay business division.

Although the company has come to prominence this year for its involvement in Covid-19 testing, its food intolerance division has historically accounted for the lion’s share of revenues. However, that business suffered in the first six months of this financial year, with income down by 38 per cent as global health priorities shifted to combating the pandemic.

Updating shareholders at the end of last month, AIM-listed Omega said demand for food intolerance testing was now recovering, with sales in October expected to be 20% higher than in the same period last year. The Scottish firm also highlighted “significant near-term opportunities” for the business division in China, where Food Detective has been available for laboratory use since April.

READ MORE: Omega adds staff at its Alva HQ as Covid test production gears up

Omega has now confirmed that China’s National Medical Products Administration (NMPA) has approved Food Detective for self-testing. The company added that it is working with its distribution partner to ensure the test achieves commercial success in the home use market.

“I am delighted to receive self-test approval in China, which was a key commercial objective for this year,” chief executive Colin King said. “This is another excellent reward for all the hard work put in by both our and our partner’s teams in what has remained challenging times around the world.”

READ MORE: Omega confirms Covid-19 test order volumes

Even with the decline in sales, food intolerance accounted for 80% of Omega’s revenues during the six months to the end of September. Though that weighting is expected to shift as the company ramps up mass production of Covid-19 testing kits, food intolerance remains part of the core business.

Shares in Omega, which is headquartered in Alva, Clackmannanshire, closed 2p lower yesterday at 73p. The company will announce its half-year results on November 30.