A rapid Covid test made by Scotland’s Omega Diagnostics has been shown to detect the presence of the virus in more than 96 per cent of those whose infection would be picked up by “gold standard” PCR testing carried out in a laboratory.

New independent verification has shown that the Mologic lateral flow antigen test for Covid-19, which has been CE marked by Omega for sale under its Visitect brand, has 96.4% sensitivity when compared to laboratory PCR testing. This means that out of 100 infected patients identified by PCR testing, deemed to be the most accurate available, the Mologic test would return the same result for more than 96 of them.

The verification was carried out by FIND, a World Health Organisation collaborating centre for diagnostic technology evaluation. The study was carried out with 665 people in Germany who took their own swab samples.

READ MORE: Omega Diagnostics adds to Covid testing repertoire

Omega described the results as “best-in-class performance”. The findings will be significant in on-going discussions about the use of PCR, which is more expensive and time-consuming, versus lateral flow tests that produce results within minutes.

“This is great news for the Mologic test, which we are now producing under our Visitect brand,” Omega chief executive Colin King said.

“It is significant that the test has been shown to have high diagnostic accuracy on self-collected swab specimens. Rapid diagnostic tests play a crucial role in breaking the spread of infection in the community and we are delighted to be a leading manufacturer of these home-grown tests.”

READ MORE: Omega to receive up to £374m from UK test deal

Omega is set to receive up to £374 million to manufacture rapid Covid19 tests under contract on behalf of the Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC). A final decision has yet to be made on which test or tests the UK Government will choose as part of its national testing strategy, though Bedfordshire-based Mologic’s is among those under consideration.

If the Mologic test gets the Government go-ahead, Omega’s production facilities at its headquarters in Alva, Clackmannanshire, will produce it both for the DHSC and for sale under the Visitect brand. As part of its contract with the UK Government, Omega is due to have capacity to produce up to two million tests per week by the end of this month.

Shares in Omega closed yesterday’s trading 2.15p higher at 71.65p.