Rajnath Singh, Harsh Vardhan release first batch of DRDO's anti-COVID drug 2-DG

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan on Monday released the first batch of Anti-COVID drug 2-deoxy-D-glucose (2-DG) developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).

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.

The first batch of 10,000 doses of 2DG medicine would be launched early next week, informed DRDO officials to ANI on Friday.

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 ministry, on May 8, said the clinical trials of the drug, 2-deoxy-D-glucose (2-DG), showed that it helps in a faster recovery of hospitalised patients and reduces supplemental oxygen dependence.

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 its operation in the infected cells. This also reduces the hospital stay of COVID-19 patients," the ministry had said.

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.

(With inputs from Agencies)

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