Anti-COVID drug 2-deoxy-D-glucose (2-DG) Developed by DRDO
DCGI approves anti-COVID drug developed by DRDO for emergency use, the drug comes in powder form in a sachet, which is taken orally by dissolving it in water
About Anti COVID drug 2-DG
An anti-COVID-19 therapeutic application of the drug 2-deoxy-D-glucose (2-DG) has been developed by the Institute of Nuclear Medicine and Allied Sciences (INMAS), a lab of Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), in collaboration with Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories (DRL), Hyderabad. Clinical trial results have shown that this molecule helps in the faster recovery of hospitalized patients and reduces supplemental oxygen dependence. The higher proportion of patients treated with 2-DG showed RT-PCR negative conversion in COVID patients. The drug will be of immense benefit to the people suffering from COVID-19.
Clinical trial details of 2-DG
In April 2020, during the first wave of the pandemic, INMAS-DRDO scientists conducted laboratory experiments with the help of the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB), Hyderabad, and found that this molecule works effectively against the SARS-CoV-2 virus and inhibits viral growth Based on these results, Drugs Controller General of India’s (DCGI) Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO) permitted Phase-II clinical trial of 2-DG in COVID-19 patients in May 2020.
In Phase-II trials (including dose-ranging) conducted from May to October 2020, the drug was found to be safe in COVID-19 patients and showed significant improvement in their recovery. Phase-II trial was conducted on 110 patients.
Based on successful results, DCGI further permitted the Phase-III clinical trials in November 2020. The Phase-III clinical trial was conducted on 220 patients between December 2020 to March 2021 at 27 COVID hospitals in Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, and Tamil Nadu. The higher proportion of patients improved symptomatically and became free from supplemental oxygen dependence (42% vs 31%) by Day-3 in comparison to SoC, indicating an early relief from Oxygen therapy/dependence.
DCGI granted permission for Emergency Use
On May 01, 2021, DCGI granted permission for the Emergency Use of this drug as an adjunct therapy in moderate to severe COVID-19 patients. As it is a generic molecule and analogue of glucose, it can be easily produced and made available in plenty in the country.
The drug comes in powder form in a sachet, which is taken orally by dissolving it in water. It accumulates in the virus-infected cells and prevents virus growth by stopping viral synthesis and energy production. Its selective accumulation in virally infected cells makes this drug unique
In the ongoing second COVID-19 wave, a large number of patients are facing severe oxygen dependency and need hospitalization. The drug is expected to save precious lives due to the mechanism of operation of the drug in infected cells. This also reduces the hospital stay of COVID-19 patients.