The first batch of anti-Covid drug 2-DG, developed by the DRDO, will be released on Monday by defence minister Rajnath Singh and health minister Harsh Vardhan, according to officials.
The defence ministry earlier this month said, the Drugs Controller General of India (DGCI) has given approval to the oral drug for emergency use as an assistant therapy in moderate to severe coronavirus patients.
The first batch of the drug will be released in the presence of two ministers at an event at the headquarters of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).
On May 8, the clinical trials of the drug 2-deoxy-D-glucose (2-DG), showed that it helps in a faster recovery of hospitalised patients and reduces supplemental oxygen dependency said the ministry. Amid the record-breaking wave of the coronavirus pandemic that has put an immense pressure on the healthcare infrastructure to its limit, this drug has been approved.
“In the ongoing second Covid-19 wave, a large number of patients are facing severe oxygen dependency and need hospitalisation. The drug is expected to save precious lives due to the mechanism of its operation in the infected cells. This also reduces the hospital stay of Covid-19 patients,” the ministry had said.
The Institute of Nuclear Medicine and Allied Sciences (INMAS), a leading laboratory of the DRDO, in collaboration with Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories (DRL) in Hyderabad has developed the anti-Covid therapeutic application of the drug.
According to the ministry, the drug comes in powder form in a sachet and is taken orally by dissolving it in water.
In terms of efficacy, it said, patients treated with 2-DG showed a faster symptomatic cure than the standard of care (SoC) on various endpoints.