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First batch of DRDOs anti-COVID-19 drug 2DG to be available from next week – Republic World

The first batch of 2DG medicine for treating COVID-19 patients would be launched early next week, Defense Research & Development Organisation (DRDO) said on May 14. Speaking to ANI, DRDO officials said that as many as 10,000 doses of the drug would be administrated across India. Jointly developed by DRDO and Dr Reddy’s Laboratories (DRL), the drug has been found to expedite recovery in coronavirus patients and also reduce their dependency on oxygen. On May 1, the 2-deoxy-D-glucose (2DG) medicine was granted approval for emergency use in India. 

Know everything about DRDO’s 2-DG drug

The anti-COVID-19 therapeutic has been developed by DRDO scientists at the Institute of Nuclear Medicine and Allied Sciences (INMAS). The drug has been developed in collaboration between DRDO and Dr Reddy’s Laboratories (DRL) in Hyderabad. The drug was ready for clinical trials in April last year after DRDO and INMAS scientists conducted experiments inside the lab and found 2-DG to be safe and effective against the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

Based on the results from the lab experiment, DCGI permitted DRDO to conduct Phase-II clinical trials of the drug. The trials showed 2-DG was effective against the COVID-19 virus and demonstrated signs of recovery in patients. Following the successful Phase-II trials between May and October 2020, the drug was tested again in Phase-IIa and Phase-IIb trials, which were conducted at six and 11 hospitals respectively. Overall the Phase-II trials were conducted on 110 patients. 

The DRDO received approval to conduct Phase-III trials of the drug by DCGI in November 2020. The Phase-II trials were conducted between December 2020-March 2021 at 27 hospitals across India, including in Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Karnataka, etc. The Phase-III trials were conducted on 220 patients. The results showed faster recovery in patients who took the drug as compared to those who followed just the Standard of Care (SoC). The use of oxygen in patients who took 2-DG declined significantly.

Speaking exclusively to Republic Media recently, DRDO scientist Dr Anand Narayan Bhat said that they started the project in May 2020 with CCMB Hyderabad where the drug was tested. After successful results, DCGI was approached for phase 2 trials, added Bhat. The scientist lastly mentioned that it took almost a year to complete all the trials and process after which the drug controller gave permissions for emergency use.

Image: ANI/DRDO_Twitter