Omega aims to '˜under-promise and over-deliver'

Life sciences firm Omega Diagnostics today said it remained confident on the prospects for its 'revolutionary' product that checks the immune systems of HIV patients.

Omega Diagnostics saw turnover rise 5% last year. Picture: Contributed

The Alva-based company has suffered setbacks in the development of its Visitect CD4 device, but chairman David Evans insisted it has now met a “key design goal parameter” by showing it can function at temperatures up to 35°C.

He said: “We are now undertaking testing with patient samples to be confident that we have a robust design and we remain positive on bringing a revolutionary product to the market that will have a major impact on improving healthcare outcomes for millions of people.”

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Omega Diagnostics insists prognosis looks ‘bright’

Chief executive Andrew Shepherd told The Scotsman: “We’re now having the device tested in HIV testing labs to get more data and give us confidence to the point it can go back out into field trials in India and Kenya. That process is likely to take several months, so we’re looking at early 2017 to get the field trials re-initiated.”

Analysts at house broker FinnCap said there was now “light at the end of the tunnel” for CD4, which will enable Omega’s management to “more confidently invest for growth”.

Shepherd’s comments came as Aim-quoted Omega – which employs more than 160 people, including about 50 in Alva – posted adjusted pre-tax profits of £1.35 million for the year to the end of March. That was down slightly from £1.37m the previous year, despite turnover rising 5 per cent to £12.7m – helped by a “strong performance” at its food intolerance division, which saw revenues jump 19 per cent to £7.1m.

Jag Grewal, Omega’s group sales and marketing director, said the firm had enjoyed “exceptional growth” for food intolerance testing in North America and is eyeing further growth in countries such as China, India and the US.

Evans added: “We have a solid and profitable core business. We have also identified a number of organic growth opportunities for all our business segments which we believe could significantly enhance shareholder value.

“We are evaluating all these opportunities, including those which could be delivered from existing resources, to ensure we are on the right side of under-promising and over-delivering.”