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DRDO’s 2-DG drug for Covid-19 treatment to be launched next week – Mint

The first batch of 2-deoxy-D-glucose (2-DG) drug for the treatment of moderate to severe Covid-19 cases will be launched next week, the Defence Research and Development Organisation has said.

“The first batch of 10,000 doses of 2-DG medicine for the treatment of Covid-19 infected patients would be launched early next week and will be given to patients,” a DRDO official was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.

“The drug manufacturers are working on ramping up the production of the medicine for future use. The drug has been developed by a team of DRDO scientists including Dr Anant Narayan Bhatt,” the official added.

The drug has been developed by the DRDO lab Institute of Nuclear Medicine and Allied Sciences in collaboration with Dr Reddy’s Laboratories.

It will be given as an adjunct therapy or an alternative treatment, and its purpose is to assist the primary treatment. It comes in powder form in sachets, which is taken orally by dissolving it in water.

The Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) approved 2-DG for emergency use early last week.

“Clinical trial have shown that this molecule helps in faster recovery of hospitalized patients and reduces supplemental oxygen dependence,” read a statement by DRDO upon the drug getting DCGI nod.

According to DRDO, the patients treated with 2-DG showed faster symptomatic cure than Standard of Care (SoC) on various endpoints in the efficacy trends.

“A significantly favourable trend (2.5 days difference) was seen in terms of the median time to achieving normalization of specific vital signs parameters when compared to SOC,” it said.

In April 2020, during the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, INMAS-DRDO scientists conducted laboratory experiments of 2-DG with the help of the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB), Hyderabad.

They found that this molecule works effectively against the SARS-CoV-2 virus and inhibits viral growth.

Based on the results, the DCGI had in May 2020 permitted Phase-II clinical trial of 2-DG in Covid-19 patients.

In Phase-II trials (including dose-ranging) conducted from May to October 2020, the drug was found to be safe and showed significant improvement in the patients’ recovery.

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