The decision by Aspen CEO Stephen Saad to defy his bankers 21 years ago and keep, rather than sell, a Port Elizabeth drugs manufacturing facility means the company is ready to play a key global role in the manufacture of a vaccine against Covid-19.

A deal unveiled this week with the $400bn US pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson (J&J) positions Aspen to be at the forefront of the battle against the pandemic, which is forcing a growing number of countries back into debilitating lockdowns...

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