The Drugs Controller General of India has approved an anti-COVID oral drug, developed by DRDO, for emergency use as adjunct therapy in moderate to severe coronavirus patients, the Defence Ministry said on Saturday.
It said clinical trials of the drug 2-deoxy-D-glucose (2-DG) showed that it helps in faster recovery of hospitalised patients and reduces supplemental oxygen dependence.
The drug has been developed by Institute of Nuclear Medicine and Allied Sciences (INMAS), a leading laboratory of Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), in collaboration with Dr Reddy’s Laboratories in Hyderabad.
The 2-DG comes in powder form in sachets and is taken orally by dissolving it in water.
“On May 01, DCGI granted permission for emergency use of this drug as adjunct therapy in moderate to severe COVID-19 patients. Being a generic molecule and analogue of glucose, it can be easily produced and made available in plenty in the country,” the Ministry said in a statement.
“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 Ministry added.
India began the world’s largest vaccination program in January 2021 but the pace is said to have slowed down after many states red-flagged vaccine shortage. Yesterday, nearly 23 lakh doses were administered; 16.7 crore doses have been administered so far.
Many nations have come forward to support India. The world’s largest cargo plane – carrying three 18-tonne oxygen generators and 1,000 ventilators — left Northern Ireland on Friday as part of the UK’s latest response to India’s COVID-19 crisis, news agency PTI reported.
A day after reporting the world’s highest daily surge, India recorded 4.01 lakh cases today, taking the active caseload to 37,23,446. In the last 24 hours, 4,187 people died, taking total deaths to 2.38 lakh.