How DRDO's New Antiviral Oral Drug 2DG Works Against COVID

17 May, 2021 15:30 IST|Sakshi Post

DRDO 2DG Covid-19 medicine (oral) has been released; here's how the 2-deoxy-D-glucose (2-DG) drug in powder form can help you.

New Delhi: The first batch of Covid-19 drug 2-deoxy-D-glucose (2-DG) oral drug was released on Monday, May 17th by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Health Minister Harsh Vardhan.

DRDO's Institute of Nuclear Medicine and Allied Sciences collaborated with Hyderabad-based pharma giant Dr. Reddy's Laboratories for the 2DG Covid-19 medicine.

On May 17, nearly 10,000 doses of the DRDO 2DG Covid-19 drug will be distributed to hospitals in the national capital, according to a report.

The drug's approval comes at a time when India is battling a coronavirus pandemic that has not only strained the country's healthcare system but also claimed the lives of many people.

The findings of clinical trials have shown that this molecule aids in the quicker recovery of hospitalized patients and decreases the need for supplemental oxygen. A higher proportion of COVID 11patients treated with 2-DG had RT-PCR negative conversion. People suffering from COVID-19 will greatly benefit from the drug.

In response to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's call for pandemic preparedness, the DRDO developed an anti-COVID therapeutic application of 2-DG. INMAS-DRDO scientists, who performed laboratory experiments with the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) in Hyderabad in April 2020, during the first wave of the pandemic 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 Organization (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.

Clinical trials to assess the drug's safety and efficacy in COVID-19 patients were launched by the DRDO and its industry partner DRL, Hyderabad. The drug was shown to be effective in COVID-19 patients and showed substantial progress in their recovery in Phase-II trials (including dose-ranging) performed from May to October 2020. Six hospitals participated in Phase IIa, and 11 hospitals participated in Phase IIb (dose-ranging) clinical trials across the world. A 110-patient phase-II trial was performed.

Patients treated with 2-DG showed quicker symptomatic cure on different endpoints than patients treated with Standard of Care (SoC). When compared to SoC, the median time to achieve normalization of basic vital signs parameters showed a slightly favorable pattern (2.5 days difference).

DCGI approved Phase-III clinical trials in November 2020 based on the positive results. Between December 2020 and March 2021, 220 patients were enrolled in the Phase-III clinical trial at 27 COVID hospitals in Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, and Tamil Nadu. DCGI received detailed data from a phase-III clinical trial.

In contrast to SoC, a slightly higher proportion of patients in the 2-DG arm progressed symptomatically and were free of supplemental oxygen dependency by Day 3 (42% vs 31%), suggesting an early relief from Oxygen therapy/dependence.

A similar pattern was found in patients over the age of 65. DCGI granted Emergency use of this medication as an adjunct therapy in moderate to extreme COVID-19 patients on May 1, 2021. It can be easily manufactured and made available in large quantities in the country since it is a standardized molecule and analog of glucose.

The following is everything you need to know about DRDO 2DG Covid-19 medicine:

1. The Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) has approved the DRDO 2DG Covid-19 oral drug for emergency use as an adjunct therapy in moderate to extreme coronavirus patients.

2. Clinical trials of the drug 2-deoxy-D-glucose (2-DG) revealed that it aided in the quicker recovery of hospitalized patients and decreased the need for supplemental oxygen.

3. The 2-DG will be delivered in a sachet as a powder that can be dissolved in water and taken orally.

4. According to a statement from the Defence Ministry, the drug accumulates in virus-infected cells and stops viral synthesis and energy output, preventing the virus from growing. It goes on to say that the drug is special in that it only accumulates in virally infected cells.

5. In terms of effectiveness, patients treated with 2-DG had a quicker symptomatic cure than those treated with the standard of care (SoC) on a variety of endpoints.

The medication comes in powder form in a sachet that must be dissolved in water before being taken 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.

In the last 24 hours, India has reported 2.81 lakh new Covid-19 cases, according to the latest numbers. This is the first time the country has seen fewer than 3 lakh covid cases in a single day since April 20. In the meantime, 4,106 people have died in the last 24 hours.

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