The Drugs Controller General of India that approved oral drug 2-deoxy-D-glucose (2-DG) developed by the DRDO for emergency usage to treat the COVID-19 infection was released by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan on May 17. The drug has been developed by DRDO's Institute of Nuclear Medicine and Allied Sciences (INMAS) in collaboration with Dr Reddy's Laboratories. DRDO Chairman Dr G Satheesh Reddy told ANI that DRDO and Dr Reddy's lab had gone through the complete trials and conducted trials across 30 hospitals and on a large number of patients.
Dr Reddy's today released an important information of the '2DG' drug where it said that the 'commercial launch' and supply of the drug to major government hospitals from mid-June. The price of the drug is being determined with a view to making it accessible and affordable to as many patients as possible and an announcement for the same shall be made soon.
Besides, it has also alerted to be aware of agents selling spurious or illegal products in the name of 2DG, apart from it has also asked to be aware of unverified messages to circulating of the drug on social media and on WhatsApp.
The drug comes in powder form in a sachet, which is 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 Drugs Controller General of India (DGCI) has approved the oral drug for emergency use as an adjunct therapy in moderate to severe coronavirus patients, the defence ministry said earlier this month. The approval of the drug has come at a time when India is grappling with a record-breaking wave of the coronavirus pandemic that has stretched the country's healthcare infrastructure to its limit.
In the ongoing second COVID-19 wave, a large number of patients are facing severe oxygen dependency and need hospitalisation. The drug is expected to save precious lives due to the mechanism of operation of the drug in infected cells. This also reduces the hospital stay of COVID-19 patients.