Anti-Covid drug 2-DG developed by DRDO authorized for emergency use

Anti-Covid-drug-2-DG-developed-by-DRDO-authorized-for-emergency-use

The Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) has authorized an anti-COVID oral drug manufactured by DRDO in collaboration with Dr Reddy's Laboratories for emergency use, the Union Defence Ministry on Saturday announced. A clinical trial demonstrated that the drug, 2-deoxy-D-glucose (2-DG), helps in the rapid recovery of hospitalised patients and reduces supplemental oxygen reliance.


"In Phase-II trials (including dose-ranging) conducted between May and October 2020, the drug was found to be safe in Covid-19 patients and showed significant improvement in their recovery. Phase IIa was conducted in 6 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. In efficacy trends, the patients treated with 2-DG showed faster symptomatic cure than Standard of Care (SoC) on various endpoints. A significantly favourable trend (2.5 days difference) was seen in terms of the median time to achieving normalization of specific vital signs parameters when compared to SOC," a top DRDO official explained on Saturday.


The DRDO took the initiative of generating an anti-COVID therapeutic application of 2-DG following Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call for preparedness against the pandemic. 


In April 2020, during the first wave of COVID-19, INMAS-DRDO scientists performed experiments with the assistance of the Hyderabad-based Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) and established that the molecule functions effectively against the SARS-CoV-2 virus and restricts viral growth. Based on the findings/results, the Drugs Controller General of India’s (DCGI) Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) licensed a Phase-II clinical trial of 2-DG in Covid-19 patients in May 2020.


"The detailed data of phase-III clinical trial was presented to DCGI. In the 2-DG arm, a significantly higher proportion of patients improved symptomatically and became free from supplemental oxygen dependence (42% vs 31%) by Day-3 in comparison to SOC, indicating an early relief from Oxygen therapy/dependence. A similar trend was observed in patients more than 65 years also," the DRDO official informed.


The second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic continues to hammer the country and a vast number of patients are still looking for oxygen supplies and hospitalisation. The drug is expected to protect valuable lives due to the mechanism of operation of the drug in infected cells. This could reduce the duration of hospitalization of COVID-19 patients and the pressure on the health infrastructure of the country.


India recorded over 4 lakh new Covid-19 cases in the last 24 hours ending 8 am Saturday, taking the country's total caseload to over 2.19 crores. Out of these, over 37 lakh cases are currently active while over 1.79 crore people have recovered. With 4,187 new deaths, the toll now stands at over 2.38 lakh.



Rezwana Aktar

Rezwana Aktar

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