By Kristy Dorsey

The largest shareholder in Omega Diagnostics has sold his entire stake in the Scottish biotechnology business.

Former Baillie Gifford fund manager Richard Sneller, who at one point owned about a quarter of the AIM-listed company’s shares, disposed of the last of his holding in two consecutive days of dealings earlier this month. The move followed a surge in the company’s share price since April of this year as Omega Diagnostics got involved in a variety of projects to develop Covid-19 testing kits.

Mr Sneller was the Citywire AAA-rated manager of Edinburgh-based Baillie Gifford’s Emerging Markets Growth Fund. He retired in April of this year following a 25-year career in the investment industry.

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Mr Sneller was adding to his holding as recently as May of last year, when he subscribed to three million shares in a placing that raised £630,000 for Omega Diagnostics.

Based in Clackmannanshire, Omega Diagnostics has historically focused on markets such as allergy testing, food intolerance and HIV testing. However, it decided earlier this year to dramatically reduce its allergy activities as it gears up for what is expected to be mass production of Covid-19 test kits.

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Mr Sneller sold his final tranche of shares, amounting to 5.29 per cent of the company’s issued capital, on November 13. That was the day after a report in the British Medical Journal questioned the accuracy of the coronavirus test being developed by the UK Rapid Test Consortium (UK-RTC), of which Omega Diagnostics is a member.

Shares in Omega Diagnostics, which reached closing highs of up to 107p in October, finished yesterday’s trading up 0.5p at 56.5p.