The drug can be added as a supplement or adjunct to the existing treatment protocols to treat moderate to severe Covid patients
Hyderabad: The recent launch of anti Covid-19 therapeutic drug 2-deoxy-D-glucose (2-DG) has given yet another treatment option for physicians and patients in the fight against the Covid pandemic.
Dubbed as the first indigenously developed therapeutic against Covid, the 2-DG drug was launched recently in New Delhi by Raksha Mantri, Rajnath Singh. In the coming weeks when the antiviral drug becomes available in the open market, it can be added as a supplement or adjunct to the existing treatment protocols to treat moderate to severe Covid patients.
Developed jointly by the Institute of Nuclear Medicine and Allied Sciences (INMAS), New Delhi, DRDO, along with Dr Reddy’s Laboratories (DRL), Hyderabad and Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB), the 2-DG received clearance from the national drug regulator Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) on May 1 for emergency use as an adjunct therapy in moderate to severe Covid positive patients.
The Union Health Ministry and ICMR, however, are yet to include 2-DG in the national Covid-19 treatment protocol. In the next few weeks, the Covid-19 National Task Force is expected to decide on including the drug in the national Covid treatment protocols.
Initially, the availability of 2-DG is expected be very limited, as regular production will start only in the first week of June. According to the Chairman, DRDO, Dr G Satheesh Reddy, the second batch of 2-DG will be available in a limited quantity from May 27 and will be extensively used in AIIMS, Armed Forces Hospitals, DRDO hospitals and from June onwards, the drug is expected to be available everywhere.
While the clinical trial results of 2-DG are yet to be published in peer-reviewed or pre-print journals, researchers at INMAS and DRDO have maintained that the drug has been successful in helping positive patients recover quickly.
According to DRDO, clinical trial data has indicated that 2-DG helps in faster recovery of hospitalised Covid patients and reduces their dependency on supplemental oxygen. Researchers said that 2-DG accumulates in virus-infected cells, preventing viral synthesis and growth of the virus.
The phase-II trials were conducted on 110 patients between May and October of last year and phase III trials on 220 patients across the country in November. In the clinical trials, the 2-DG was found to be safe in Covid patients and showed significant improvement in their recovery. Higher proportion of patients improved symptomatically and they became free from supplemental oxygen dependence, indicating an early relief from oxygen therapy, DRDO said in a statement.
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