Life sciences firm Omega Diagnostics saw its shares jump by more than 7% today after its testing kit for HIV patients won approval from the Nigerian government.

The Alva-based company, which specialises in tests for allergies, food intolerance and infectious diseases, has received the green light from the African country’s Federal Ministry of Health for its Visitect CD4 350 test to be deployed there.

The approval followed a product evaluation across the country, co-ordinated by the National AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Infections Control Programme. It means a provisional order for 250,000 tests in Nigeria can now go ahead. Around 1.9 million people in the country are living with HIV.

It means the company’s product is the first instrument-free test of its kind to be implemented throughout Nigeria in the care of people living with HIV. Visitect CD4 350 is used to test progession of HIV in existing patients and helps medical staff to prioritise cases at higher risk of deterioration.

“We will now look to firm up a delivery schedule to determine what proportion of this demand can be shipped prior to the end of the financial year,” said Omega.

Chief executive Colin King said gaining approval was one of the company’s key strategic aims and will enable its test to “make a real difference to people living with HIV in Nigeria”.

Last September Omega raised £1.7 million from investors in case delays in receiving orders for its newly-launched HIV testing products put a squeeze on its finances. Funds raised under the placing and subscription were to be used for working capital purposes and to continue the commercialisation of Omega’s HIV tests.

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