DRDO's anti-COVID 2-DG drug effective against different variants: DRDO scientists

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Dr Sudhir Chandna, senior DRDO scientist in conversation with ANI. (Photo/ANI)
Dr Sudhir Chandna, senior DRDO scientist in conversation with ANI. (Photo/ANI)

New Delhi [India], May 8 (ANI): The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO)'s new anti-COVID drug, just approved by the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) is effective against different variants of the coronavirus and helps in bringing patients out of oxygen support, said DRDO scientists.

Dr Anant Narayan Bhatt, a scientist at the DRDO's Institute of Nuclear Medicine and Allied Sciences (INMAS-DRDO) while speaking to ANI said, "In the Phase 3 trials for 2-deoxy-D-glucose (2-DG), a large number of patients were tested and it was found that many patients are coming out of oxygen (support)... The mechanism of action is very unique and as per the basics principles of this drug, it will be very effective on different variants of the SARS-CoV-2 virus."

The DCGI approved the emergency use of the 2-deoxy-D-glucose earlier in the day, as an adjunct therapy in moderate to severe COVID-19 cases.

"Based on the successful phase 3 trials, the DCGI has given us emergency use authorization," Bhatt added.

Work on the new drug started in April last year, informed Dr Sudhir Chandna, another senior scientist at INMAS-DRDO and have shown very promising results.

"In April last year, we had started very important work for the COVID-19 drug. This is a molecule called 2-deoxy-D-glucose. Testing had started last year. The first experiment was conducted in CCMB Hyderabad where the effect of the drug on the virus was studied. That showed excellent results," Chandna told ANI.

He added that after permission from the DCGI, phase 2 clinical trials started in May 2020 till October.

"We saw very good results. COVID patients benefited from taking the medicine. After that phase 3 trials started," he said.

In a statement, the DRDO informed that clinical trial results have shown that this molecule helps in faster recovery of hospitalized patients and reduces supplemental oxygen dependence.

A 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 in the ongoing pandemic, it added.

This comes as a promising development amid the devastating second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has brought the country's healthcare infrastructure to its knees.

In the last 24 hours, as many India reported as many as 4,01,078 new COVID-19 cases, 3,18,609 discharges, and 4,187 deaths, as per Union Health Ministry.

The total cases now stand at 2,18,92,676, including 1,79,30,960 recoveries, 2,38,270 deaths and 37,23,446 active cases. (ANI)