New Delhi, May 17 (FN Agency) Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Health Minister Harsh Vardhan on Monday released the first batch of DRDO-developed anti-Covid drug 2-DG here. On the occasion, Mr Singh said, “I am thanking all of them who are associated in the Research & Development of this drug, including DRDO. Two-deoxy-D-glucose (2-DG) drug would be helpful in containing the virus. This is an example of our country’s scientific prowess,” Mr Singh added.
Assuring the people, he further said that the Government has been doing their best in dealing with the crisis across the country, adding that there has been no impact on the borders. “Our soldiers are full of energy and enthusiasm, guarding the borders. We all know how much bigger the challenges are, we will overcome it,” Mr Singh assured. As of now, a total of 10,000 sachets of the drug will be supplied in various hospitals in Delhi first and that will not be sold in the general market. “I have been informed that comparatively, the people treated with this drug got well two-and-a-half days faster. We got to see that dependency on oxygen reduced by 40 per cent. The best thing is it is in powder form which the people can easily mix with water and can use like ORS,” the Defence Minister said.
On the occasion, DRDO Chairman G Sateesh Reddy and AIIMS Director Randeep Guleria were also present. An anti-COVID-19 therapeutic application of the drug 2-deoxy-D-glucose (2-DG) has been developed by Institute of Nuclear Medicine and Allied Sciences (INMAS), a lab of Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), in collaboration with Dr Reddy’s Laboratories (DRL), Hyderabad. Clinical trial results have shown that the drug enables faster recovery of hospitalised Covid-19 patients and reduces their supplemental oxygen dependence.
Covid patients treated with 2-DG showed a higher proportion of RT-PCR negative conversion. During the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, INMAS-DRDO scientists conducted laboratory experiments with the help of Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology in Hyderabad and found that this molecule works effectively against SARS-CoV-2 virus and inhibits the viral growth.
Based on these results, the DCGI’s Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) permitted Phase-II clinical trials of 2-DG in Covid-19 patients in May 2020. The DRDO conducted Phase-II trials till October, it was found to be safe for treating Covid-19 patients. All over the country, the phase II-A was conducted in six hospitals and Phase II-B clinical trial was conducted at 11 hospitals, in which a total of 110 patients participated. On May 8, the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) gave approval for emergency use in moderate to severe case of the virus.