Aspen Pharmacare’s share price has lost almost three-quarters of its value over the past five years. Picture: BLOOMBERG/WALDO SWIEGERS
Aspen Pharmacare’s share price has lost almost three-quarters of its value over the past five years. Picture: BLOOMBERG/WALDO SWIEGERS

Drug maker Aspen Pharmacare said on Wednesday it had noted media reports regarding a Covid-19 trial using dexamethasone, a drug it has rights to.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) said on Tuesday a trial had shown that dexamethasone, a corticosteroid, could be life-saving for patients who were critically ill with Covid-19.

For patients on ventilators, the treatment was shown to reduce mortality by about one third, and for patients requiring only oxygen, mortality was cut by about one fifth, according to preliminary findings shared with the WHO.

Aspen confirmed on Wednesday that it owned rights to the drug, and distributed it in a number of countries, including in SA, where it is manufactured locally by a third party.

In morning trade on Wednesday, Aspen’s share price was up 6% to R148.40, putting it on track for its best one-day performance in almost three months.

gernetzkyk@businesslive.co.za

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