The recently approved Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) drug ‘2-deoxy-D-glucose (2-DG)’ which has been granted emergency use approval by the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) has shown encouraging test results. According to experts associated with the study, during the phase 3 trials of the drug, it emerged that 42 per cent of patients recovered and didn’t need supplemental oxygen by the third day as compared to 31 per cent in standard care. The patients above 65 have also shown similar results.
“During clinical trials, it has yielded an effective result in curing patients infected with COVID-19. The medicine has gone through clinical trials on around 110 patients in the second phase. In the third phase, it was tried on 220 patients. It has shown better efficacy in phase two itself as compared to standard care. Recovery was two to three days faster for COVID-19 patients” said Dr Sudhir Chandna, a scientist at DRDO’s lab, Institute of Nuclear Medicine and Allied Sciences (INMAS).
DRDO officials remarked that the remaining stock was being collected from the 27 hospitals across the country where the tests were conducted. It will be delivered to DRDO Covid Hospital in Delhi and will be given to the patients there only, at first.
As reported by TFI, the DGCI granted emergency use approval to the drug which was being tested in the country for close to a year. INMAS and Hyderabad-based Dr Reddy’s Laboratories jointly developed the anti-Covid therapeutic application of the drug.
Since the drug is composed of a generic molecule and an analogue of glucose, the Health Ministry said that it can be easily produced and made available in abundance throughout the country. The drug comes in powder form in a sachet and is taken orally by dissolving it in water.
On average, the drug has been found to prepone normalisation of vital parameters of a person infected by Covid-19 by two and a half days. Therefore, the usage of this drug will greatly relieve India’s overburdened healthcare system and help save precious lives.
After being questioned by the domain experts for its inefficiency in innovation, DRDO has been upping its game in the battle against the rising second wave of the pandemic. Apart from the lifesaving drug, the Centre for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics (CAIR), a laboratory of DRDO also created an artificial intelligence (AI) algorithm to help detect Covid-19 from chest X-rays.
Before that, the organisation deployed innovative technologies to deal with India’s oxygen crisis and many cities like Lucknow, Guwahati, and Mumbai helped with the setting up of hospitals.
The latest drug developed by DRDO will significantly aid India’s fight against Covid-19, especially at a time when cases are surging and the vaccination drive has dampened due to a variety of reasons. DRDO must be commended for its sense of national service and duty.