OMEGA Diagnostics has underlined its confidence in the “potential global application” in the rapid test for Covid-19 it is developing alongside Abingdon Health.

The Alva-based medical diagnostics company noted an update from Abingdon Health and welcomed confirmation that it continues “to work constructively with the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) to try to enable approval for home use and self-test of the AbC-19 rapid test in the UK”.

Abingdon said that while the UK Department of Health and Social Care continues to have first refusal for supplies of the AbC-19 Rapid Test through a supply of goods contract that extends to February 14, the UK-RTC is liaising with customers and regulatory authorities across a total of 27 international territories, to allow future use of the product outside of the UK.

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Colin King, chief executive of Omega Diagnostics, said: “We welcome the update from Abingdon Health this morning and we look forward to being able to update investors on this approval process for self-test use in due course. We remain confident that the AbC-19 rapid test has a potential global application and we are delighted that the UK-RTC maintains constructive dialogue with interested customers and regulatory authorities across the world.”

The AbC-19 test uses a small drop of blood from a finger prick, with results shown in 20 minutes.

It is currently approved for use by healthcare professionals in the UK, and the UK-RTC is seeking approval for self-testing.

The antibody tests detect whether an individual has been previously infected by the coronavirus.

Omega is also working on a rapid antibody test with Bedfordshire-based Mologic, and expects its work on a rapid antigen test to detect people currently infected by the coronavirus to be to the fore in 2021.

The company has increased its staff numbers at its headquarters to more than 120 from 60 earlier this year, with construction on a £1 million manufacturing expansion due to complete by the end of the year, which will take capacity from 500,000 to two million tests per week by April. Up to 80 more staff are expected to be hired in the coming months.

Shares rose more than six per cent in early trading, settling around 2% up.