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First batch of DRDO’s anti-Covid drug 2-DG to be released tomorrow

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The results of clinical trials, which were conducted in several states, showed that this 2-DG molecule helps in faster recovery of hospitalised patients and also reduces oxygen dependence.

PUBLISHED ON MAY 16, 2021 07:17 PM IST

The first batch of drug 2-deoxy-D-glucose drug to treat Covid-19 patients, developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation in collaboration with Hyderabad’s dr Reddy’s Limited, will be launched on May 17, marking a landmark in India’s fight against the Covid-19 pandemic. Defence minister Rajnath Singh and health minister Dr Harsh Vardhan will release the first batch of the drug.

Early this month, the drug, which is a glucose analogue, was cleared by the Drug Controller General of India for emergency use as an adjunct therapy for Covid-19 patients. The results of clinical trials, which were conducted in several states, showed that this 2-DG molecule helps in faster recovery of hospitalised patients and also reduces oxygen dependence. A higher proportion of patients treated with 2-DG showed RT-PCR negative conversion in COVID patients, the government said.

Preparation for developing a drug meant for Covid-19 treatment began in April 2020, during the first wave of the pandemic, when DRDO scientists conducted laboratory experiments with the help of the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology, Hyderabad and found that this molecule works effectively against the SARS-CoV-2 virus and inhibits the viral growth.

Between May to October 2020, phase 2 trials wer were conducted and the drug was found to be safe in Covid-19 patients. The second phase trial was conducted in two parts on 110 patients — first in six hospitals and the second in 11 hospitals.

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