Besides vaccines, the 2DG drug developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Dr Reddy’s Laboratories, received approval for emergency use in moderate to severe cases of Covid-19 in May. A new study has claimed the anti-covid drug is effective against all variants of the novel coronavirus.
As per the study, 2-DG reduces the multiplication of SARS-CoV-2 and alleviates the cells from infection-induced cytopathic effect (CPE) and cell death. The study suggests that the drug can be used in the treatment regimen.
To be noted, the study which has been published on June 15 is not peer reviewed yet. It has been written by Anant Narayan Bhatt, Abhishek Kumar, Yogesh Rai, Dhiviya Vedagiri and others.
The drug has been developed by Institute of Nuclear Medicine and Allied Sciences (INMAS), a leading laboratory of Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), in collaboration with Dr Reddy's Laboratories in Hyderabad.
The 2-DG drug had been shown to help ensure faster recovery of hospitalised patients as well as reducing supplemental oxygen dependence during clinical trials. The drug accumulates in infected cells, preventing virus growth by stopping viral synthesis and energy production. It is a repurposed drug as the 2-DG molecule is meant for treating tumour, cancer cells.
According to Dr Anil Mishra, Director of the Institute of Nuclear Medicine and Allied Sciences, 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.
The first batch of the oral drug was released on May 17.
Two weeks ago, DRDO issued directions on the usage of its 2-DG drug on Covid-19 patients, stating that caution should be exercised while prescribing this medicine to people who have comorbidities such as uncontrolled diabetes, severe cardiac problem and acute respiratory distress syndrome.
Besides, the DRDO has called for Expression of Interest (EoI) to transfer the technology to Indian pharmaceutical industries for production. It said the bidders should have a Drug licence to manufacture Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient (API) from Drug Licensing Authorities and WHO GMP (Good manufacturing Practices) certification among others.