Indian regulator approves anti-COVID therapeutic oral drug for emergency use

The Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) has approved the emergency use of an anti-COVID-19 therapeutic oral drug 2-deoxy-D-glucose (2-DG), developed indigenously by India's Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), as an adjunct therapy in moderation to severe COVID-19 patients

May 09, 2021
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COVID-19

The Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) has approved the emergency use of an anti-COVID-19 therapeutic oral drug 2-deoxy-D-glucose (2-DG), developed indigenously by India's Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), as an adjunct therapy in moderation to severe COVID-19 patients.

On May 1, the DCGI granted permission for 'emergency use' of this drug, IBNS said. Being a generic molecule and analogue of glucose, it can be easily produced and made available in plenty in the country, it said quoting the organisation. 

The drug comes in powder form in a sachet, which is to be 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, the DRDO said in a statement.

After taking this drug, it was found that the patients have less dependence on oxygen while recovering from coronavirus infection.

"The detailed data of phase-III clinical trial was presented to DCGI. In 2-DG arm, significantly higher proportion of patients improved symptomatically and became free from supplemental oxygen dependence (42percent vs 31 percent) by Day-3 in comparison to Standard of Care, indicating an early relief from Oxygen therapy/dependence," DRDO officials said.

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 operation of the drug in infected cells. This also reduces the hospital stay of COVID-19 patients.

This drug has been developed by the Institute of Nuclear Medicine and Allied Sciences (INMAS), a DRDO lab, in collaboration with Dr Reddy’s Laboratories (DRL), Hyderabad. DRDO is a Government of India organisation and works under the Ministry of Defence. 

"Clinical trial results have shown that this molecule helps in faster recovery of hospitalised patients and reduces supplemental oxygen dependence. 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", the officials privy to this development said.

(SAM)

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