Aspen Pharmacare jumped to an almost 17-month high after research showed that a drug that it is a major supplier of reduced deaths in critically ill Covid-19 patients.

The JSE-listed pharmaceutical manufacturer is a leading global supplier of dexamethasone, which it manufactures at sites in SA, Germany and Australia. Scientists from Oxford University’s Recovery Trial on Tuesday announced that the drug cut the risk of death among ventilated patients by a third, and reduced mortality by a fifth in those receiving oxygen. The research has been hailed as a breakthrough, as it is the first evidence of an effective treatment for Covid-19 patients with severe breathing problems.

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