Anti-Covid drug 2DG launched
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan on 17 May 2021 released the first batch of anti-COVID drug 2-deoxy-D-glucose (2-DG) developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). The anti-Covid therapeutic application of the drug has been developed by the Institute of Nuclear Medicine and Allied Sciences (INMAS), a leading laboratory of the DRDO, in collaboration with Dr Reddy's Laboratories (DRL) in Hyderabad.
- The drug will be the “first indigenous research-based outcome” to fight the virus, and will “reduce recovery time and oxygen dependency” in the country.
- Earlier this month, the Drugs Controller General of India (DGCI) has approved the oral drug for emergency use as an adjunct therapy in moderate to severe coronavirus patients.
- The drug comes in powder form in a sachet, which is taken orally by dissolving it in water. It accumulates in the virus-infected cells and prevents virus growth by stopping viral synthesis and energy production. Its selective accumulation in virally infected cells makes this drug unique.
- Clinical trial results have shown that this drug helps in faster recovery of hospitalised patients and reduces supplemental oxygen dependence.
- Higher proportion of patients treated with 2-DG showed RT-PCR negative conversion in Covid patients.
- In April 2020, during the first wave of the pandemic, INMAS-DRDO scientists conducted laboratory experiments with the help of Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB), Hyderabad, and found that this molecule works effectively against SARS-CoV-2 virus and inhibits the viral growth.
- The DRDO, along with its industry partner DRL, Hyderabad, started the clinical trials to test the safety and efficacy of the drug in Covid-19 patients.
- In November 2020, Phase-3 trials were approved and went on from December to April.
- On 1 May 2021, the drug was approved for emergency use. Dr Reddy’s Labs is engaged in its production.