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Will DRDO's 2DG medicine work against COVID variants? Availability, dosage, efficacy, price

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New Delhi, May 17: 10,000 doses of an anti-COVID-19 therapeutic application of the drug 2-deoxy-D-glucose (2-DG), developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) for treatment of Covid-19 will be released by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Monday.

Representational Image

The first batch of the drug will be released by Rajnath Singh and Dr Harsh Vardhan at an event at the headquarters of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).

The Drugs Controller General of India (DGCI) has approved the oral drug for emergency use as an adjunct therapy in moderate to severe coronavirus patients, the defence ministry said earlier this month.

The approval of the drug has come at a time when India is grappling with a record-breaking wave of the coronavirus pandemic that has stretched the country's healthcare infrastructure to its limit.

DRDO's 2-DG manufacturer

The oral drug has been developed by 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.

DRDO anti-covid drug: Dosage and how it works

The drug comes in a powder form in a sachet and is taken orally by dissolving it in water. The drug accumulates in the virus-infected cells and prevents virus growth by stopping viral synthesis and energy production. The drug will stop the virus from multiplying.

DRDO anti-covid drug price

The pricing will be determined by Dr Reddy's laboratories, which is manufacturing the doses.

DRDO anti-covid drug Availability

The first & second batch (of anti-COVID drug 2-DG) will be used in a limited manner. It will be used in AIIMS, Armed Forces Hospitals, DRDO hospitals & any other need which arises. From June onwards it will be made available to all hospitals.

Will DRDO's 2DG medicine work against COVID variants?

According to the clinical trials, the drug is supposed to arrest any variant as a multiplying virus, irrespective of variant, will need food and thus will get trapped by the drug.

Will DRDO's 2-DG drug be a game changer?

DRDO's anti-covid drug is seen as a game changer as it helps in faster recovery of hospitalised patients and reduces supplemental oxygen dependence.

"In 2-DG arm, significantly 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. The similar trend was observed in patients aged more than 65 years," the DRDO said.

This comes as a boon amid the devastating second COVID-19 wave, where a large number of patients are facing severe oxygen dependency and need hospitalisation.

A higher proportion of patients treated with 2-DG showed RT-PCR negative conversion in COVID patients. In efficacy trends, the patients treated with 2-DG showed faster symptomatic cure than Standard of Care (SoC) on various endpoints, the DRDO said.

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