DRDO’s 2DG drug approved for emergency use as an adjunct therapy for COVID-19 patients

The DRDO has informed that anti-COVID drug 2DG can now be given to the COVID-19 patients under the care and prescription of the doctors.

Created On: Jun 1, 2021 17:52 ISTModified On: Jun 1, 2021 17:52 IST
DRDO drug

The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) announced on June 1, 2021, that the anti-COVID drug 2DG has been approved for emergency use as an adjunct therapy to the standard of care in the treatment of COVID-19 patients in hospital settings.

The DRDO informed that anti-COVID drug 2DG can now be given to the COVID-19 patients under the care and prescription of the doctors.

The first batch of the drug was released on May 17, 2021, by the Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and the Health Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan, after the DCGI approved the emergency use authorization of 2-deoxy-D-glucose (2-DG), an anti-viral drug as an adjunct therapy for moderate to severe COVID-19 patients.

2DG: Guidelines by DRDO regarding its anti-COVID-19 drug

As per DRDO, the 2DG drug, ideally, must be prescribed as early as possible by the doctors for moderate to severe COVID-19 patients for a maximum duration of up to 10 days.

The severe cardiac problem, uncontrolled diabetes, severe hepatic, ARDS, and renal impairment patients have not been studied yet with 2DG and hence the caution must be exercised.

The 2DG drug must not be given to pregnant and lactating women and patients below 18 years of age.

The attendants and the patients are also advised to request the hospital to contact Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories in Hyderabad for the medicine supply.

Development of 2DG Drug: Background

When the pandemic broke out in 2020, the scientists of the Institute of Nuclear Medicine and Allied Sciences, a DRDO’s lab, conducted laboratory experiments with the help of Cellular and Molecular Biology in collaboration with DRL. They found that this molecule works effectively against the SARS-CoV-2 virus and also inhibits viral growth.

The drug comes in powder form in sachet and is taken orally by dissolving it in water.

The drug accumulates in the virus-infected cells and prevents the growth of the virus by stopping viral synthesis and energy production. Its selective accumulation in the virally infected cells makes the 2DG drug unique.

As per the Union Health Ministry, the drug reportedly reduces the average recovery time of the patient by two and a half days and oxygen demand by up to 40%.

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