The first batch of the 2-deoxy-D-glucose (2-DG) drug, developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) for treatment of COVID-19, was released on Monday by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Health Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan.
The Drugs Controller General of India (DGCI) has approved the drug for emergency use as an adjunct therapy in moderate to severe coronavirus patients earlier this month.
The anti-COVID-19 therapeutic application of 2-DG drug has been developed by the Institute of Nuclear Medicine and Allied Sciences (INMAS), a leading laboratory of DRDO, in collaboration with Dr Reddy's Laboratories (DRL) in Hyderabad.
The drug comes in powder form in sachet and is taken orally by dissolving it in water, the Defence Ministry said. In efficacy trends, the Ministry said, patients treated with 2-DG showed faster symptomatic cure than the standard of care (SoC) on various endpoints.
When will the drug be added to the COVID-19 treatment protocol?
Dr VK Paul, member (health) of Niti Aayog, on Tuesday said COVID-19 National Task Force will examine the 2-DG drug before adding it to the treatment protocol. Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) has granted permission for emergency use, he added.
2-DG drug is an add-on, not substitute for other medicines: Dr Reddy's CEO
The 2-DG drug is an add-on and not a substitute for any of the drugs that are used to treat coronavirus patients, said Deepak Sapra, the CEO of Pharmaceutical Services and API, Dr. Reddy's labs.
Speaking to ANI, Sapra said that 2DG is a molecule developed by Dr. Reddy's labs in partnership with DRDO's INMAS (Institute of Nuclear Medicine & Allied Sciences), and was originally developed for the treatment of cancer.
"The 2DG drug, which stands for 2 deoxy D glucose, was originally developed for the treatment of cancer and was repurposed for the treatment of Covid-19 last year. Clinical trials were conducted and it was found out that this drug can help Covid patients in moderate and severe conditions," he said.
"This 2DG drug is an add-on drug and not a substitute/replacement for any drug that is already being used in the treatment of COVID-19 patients. In a hospitalized setup, it helps in improving oxygen saturation," Sapra added.