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DRDO's Anti-Covid Drug 2-DG Found Effective against All Covid-19 Variants, Study Finds

Union defence minister Rajnath Singh hands over to Health minister Harsh Vardhan during launch of anti-COVID drug 2-DG, developed by DRDO, in New Delhi. (PTI)

Union defence minister Rajnath Singh hands over to Health minister Harsh Vardhan during launch of anti-COVID drug 2-DG, developed by DRDO, in New Delhi. (PTI)

The 2-deoxy-D-glucose drug was provided authorisation for emergency use by the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) on June 1 as an adjunct therapy for moderate to severe coronavirus patients.

India’s 2-deoxy-D-glucose (2-DG) drug, developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation, has been found to be effective against all variants of Covid-19, a new study has revealed. The 2-DG drug also has the potential to reduce the multiplicity of the SARS-CoV-2 virus and alleviate cells from infection-induced cytopathic effect (CPE) and cell death, the preliminary study added.

On May 17, the 2-DG drug was released by Union ministers Rajnath Singh and Dr Harsh Vardhan. While releasing its first batch, the Centre claimed that it has the potential to reduce a patient’s average recovery time by two and a half days and oxygen demand by up to 40%.

ALSO READ | DRDO Shares Directions to Administer 2-DG Drug to Covid Patients. Here’s How & When to Use

The drug was provided authorisation for emergency use by the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) on June 1 as an adjunct therapy for moderate to severe coronavirus patients.

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“Glycolytic inhibitor 2-Deoxy-D-glucose attenuates SARS-CoV-2 multiplication in host cells and weakens the infective potential of progeny virions," the study revealed.

Last week, the DRDO, which developed 2-Deoxy-D- Glucose (2-DG), a drug used for treatment of COVID-19 patients, has called for Expression of Interest (EoI) to transfer the technology to Indian pharmaceutical industries for production. 2-DG was developed by the Institute of Nuclear Medicine and Allied Sciences (INMAS), a lab of DRDO, in collaboration with Dr Reddy’s Laboratories.

Clinical trial results have shown that this molecule helps in the faster recovery of hospitalised patients and reduces supplemental oxygen dependence. Higher proportion of patients treated with 2-DG showed RT-PCR negative conversion in COVID patients.

According to the EoI document, applications should be submitted before June 17 through email. “The EoI submitted by industries will be scrutinised by a Technical Assessment Committee (TAC).

Only up to 15 industries will be given ToT on their capabilities, technical handholding capability of DRDO and on First Come First Served Basis," it said. The bidders should have a drug license to manufacture Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient (API) from Drug Licensing Authorities and WHO GMP (Good manufacturing Practices) certification among others.

The drug is a result of laboratory experiments launched in April 2020 that found this molecule was effective against SARS-CoV-2 virus and inhibited viral growth. The drug comes in powder form in sachet and is taken orally by dissolving it in water, the ministry said. In efficacy trends, the ministry said, patients treated with 2-DG showed faster symptomatic cures than the standard of care (SoC) on various endpoints.

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first published:June 17, 2021, 08:31 IST