By Kristy Dorsey

Omega Diagnostics has welcomed new data which indicates that vaccination programmes could benefit from the use of rapid antibody tests to determine an individual’s immune response to Covid inoculation.

The Scottish firm issued a statement noting the latest announcement from the UK Rapid Test Consortium (UK-RTC), of which Omega is a member, on the results of a study carried out at the University of Birmingham. This found that the consortium’s AbC-19 rapid test was effective in demonstrating the immune response across 193 patients that had received a first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid vaccine.

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“The initial data from the study being performed at the University of Birmingham supports the rationale that vaccination programmes could benefit from determining an individual’s antibody status not only after vaccination but also prior to vaccination,” the UK-RTC said in a statement.

“Should these results continue to be seen in further studies, and with other vaccines, this demonstrates that the AbC-19 antibody test could potentially assist in patient stratification and resource management in overburdened international healthcare settings.”

Of those taking part in the study, 65 were identified as having a previous Covid-19 infection. They tended to have a stronger and earlier positive response to vaccination.

The UK-RTC said further studies are being conducted to expand on the data, and are expected to be available “in the next few weeks”.

In addition to its work with the UK-RTC on antibody tests, Omega has also been chosen to help supply the UK Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) with lateral flow antigen tests to identify those currently infected with the virus. The company is ramping up capacity at its headquarters in Alva to produce approximately two million antigen tests per week by the end of April.

Shares in AIM-listed Omega closed yesterday’s trading 0.5p higher at 86.5p.