The first batch of drug 2-Deoxy-D-Glucose (2-DG) is expected to be launched next week for the COVID patients. The drug has been developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation, DRDO which recently got approval for emergency use by the Drugs Controller General of India, DCGI.
Informed sources of DRDO have said that larger quantities of the 2-DG drug will be produced from the beginning of the next month by Dr Reddy’s lab. As the drug has got emergency use permitted by the DCGI, the drug will only be provided to the COVID patients by the hospitals.
The drug 2-Deoxy-D-Glucose comes in powder form in a sachet, which needs to be 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.
The drug has been developed by one of the DRDO labs, the Institute of Nuclear Medicine and Allied Sciences, INMAS in collaboration with Dr Reddy’s Laboratories. Results of clinical trials have shown that this molecule helps in the faster recovery of hospitalised patients and reduces supplemental oxygen dependence. DCGI granted permission for the emergency use of this drug as an adjunct therapy in moderate to severe COVID patients. Being a generic molecule and analogue of glucose, it can be easily produced and made available in the country.