DRDO’s 2-DG drug for treating Covid-19 patients launched: See Price, Dosage

The 2-DG(2-deoxy-D-glucose) is an anti-Covid-19 therapeutic application of the drug. It has been developed by DRDO and Dr Reddy’s Laboratories.

The first batch of drug 2-deoxy-D-glucose drug to treat Covid-19 patients has been launched. The drug has been developed by the Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) in collaboration with Dr Reddy’s Laboratories.

The 2-DG (2-deoxy-D-glucose) is an anti-COVID-19 therapeutic application of the drug. It has been developed by the Institute of Nuclear Medicine and Allied Sciences (INMAS), a lab of DRDO in collaboration with Dr Reddy’s Laboratories.

Based on these results, the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) permitted a Phase-II clinical trial of 2- DG in COVID-19 patients in May 2020. The DRDO, along with its industry partner DRL, Hyderabad, started clinical trials to test the safety and efficacy of the drug in COVID-19 patients.

In Phase-II trials (including dose-ranging) conducted during May-October 2020, the drug was found to be safe in COVID-19 patients and showed significant improvement in their recovery. Phase-II was conducted in six hospitals and Phase IIb (dose-ranging) clinical trial was conducted at 11 hospitals all over the country. Phase-II trial was conducted on 110 patients.

How will the drug work?

The drug is a repurposed drug as the 2-DG molecule is meant for treating tumors, cancer cells. This is a glucose analog, which looks like glucose but is not. A virus that is multiplying fast in the body needs glucose for energy. Thus, the virus will take this glucose analog and will get arrested. The drug will then stop the virus from multiplying.

How will it treat Covid-19 patients with oxygen level dropping?

Director of the Institute of Nuclear Medicine and Allied Sciences, Dr. Anil Mishra, has explained in an interview to All India Radio that the oxygen demand increases as the virus are multiplying fast in the body. Once that process is stopped, the oxygen crisis will also be addressed.

Will this drug work on variants of the virus?

Dr. Mishra has said that the way the drug functions is supposed to arrest any variant as a multiplying virus, irrespective of variant, will need food and thus will get trapped by the drug.

Price

INMAS scientist Dr Sudhir Chandna has said that the pricing will be determined by Dr Reddy’s laboratories, which is manufacturing the doses. Dr Mishra said the pricing will be done keeping affordability in mind.

Dosage

Dr. Sudhir Chandna has said like glucose powder, this drug can be taken with water, twice a day. A Covid-19 patient may have to take this drug for five to seven days to get completely cured.

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