On Saturday, the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) approved for emergency use an anti-COVID drug developed by DRDO (Defence Research and Development Organisation).
The outcomes of clinical trials have shown that this molecule assists in the quicker recovery of hospitalized patients and decreases the need for supplemental oxygen. In patients infected with coronavirus, a higher proportion of patients treated with 2-DG had RT-PCR negative conversion.
The DRDO took the initiative to develop anti-Covid therapeutic applications of 2-DG in response to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call for pandemic preparedness. When the first wave of the pandemic hit India in April 2020, scientists at DRDO’s Inmas laboratory conducted experiments with the assistance of the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) in Hyderabad and discovered that this molecule works effectively against the SARS-CoV-2 virus and inhibits viral development. Based on these findings, the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) of the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) approved a Phase-II clinical trial of 2-DG in Covid-19 patients in May 2020.
The treatment is supposed to be extremely beneficial to people who are suffering from COVID-19 as a result of the current pandemic.
It can be easily manufactured and made available in large quantities in the country since it is a standard molecule and analog of glucose.
The medicine comes in the form of a powder sachet that must be dissolved in water before being administered orally.
It builds up in virus-infected cells and stops viral synthesis and energy production, preventing virus development. This drug is unusual in that it only accumulates in virally infected cells.
Due to the drug’s mode of action in infected cells, the drug is expected to save precious lives at a time when the country is being hit by the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic, with a large number of patients requiring extreme oxygen dependency and hospitalization. This also lowers Covid-19 patients’ hospital stays and the country’s healthcare infrastructure’s burden.