Omega Diagnostics has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with three other UK companies to jointly develop and manufacture a coronavirus (Covid-19) point of care antibody test.

The move is in conjunction with the University of Oxford to form the UK Rapid Test Consortium (UK-RTC) to manufacture the test as part of the government’s five pillar national testing strategy for Covid-19.

Omega, Abingdon Health, BBI Solutions, CIGA Healthcare, and the University of Oxford are part of the consortium which was formed at the request of the UK government to assist the development and manufacturing scale-up of a lateral flow antibody test for Covid-19.

This Covid-19 Rapid Test will analyse if patients have developed immunity after contracting the virus.

Under the MoU, which is for an initial period of six months, the companies will use their combined lateral flow test design and manufacturing expertise to boost the design for potential accelerated scale-up to manufacturing of the test.

Omega CEO Colin King said: “We are delighted to be part of this consortium and to support the Scottish and UK Governments’ efforts to combat the Coronavirus pandemic and look forward to using Omega’s manufacturing knowledge and capabilities in supporting and furthering this objective.”

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The specification and standard operating procedures will be shared with each company in the consortium once the Covid-19 test reaches design freeze.

This would enable manufacturing and assembly to be undertaken at each site, including at the manufacturing facility of Omega located in Alva, Scotland.

The UK government has set a new challenge for the industry to increase testing to 100,000 a day across the country.

This plan aspires to increase swab testing in PHE labs and NHS hospitals for those with a medical need and the most critical workers to 25,000 a day in England by mid to late April.

The medical technology and diagnostic companies duly responded to the government’s call by rolling out and expediting Covid-19 tests.