An anti-coronavirus drug developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) will be launched tomorrow, with Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh distributing around 10,000 doses to some hospitals in the national capital.
The drug, called 2-deoxy-D-glucose or 2-DG, was developed by a DRDO lab in collaboration with the Hyderabad-based pharma giant, Dr Reddy’s Laboratories. The Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI), the country’s top drug regulator, has approved the medicine for emergency use.
The drug had shown promising results in its phase 2 and phase 3 clinical trials. The medicine was found to be safe for COVID-19 patients in phase 2 trials, conducted between May and October last year. It was found to be effective in cutting short the hospital stays of Covid patients and reducing their supplemental oxygen dependence.
A kind of pseudo glucose molecule in the drug stops the virus in its tracks, the defence body says.
The medicine comes in powder form and can be taken with water.
2-DG is one of the few medicines across the world that have been designed specifically to treat COVID-19, which, as of now, has no cure. Doctors use several experimental drugs and procedures, including Remdevisir, Ivermectin, plasma therapy and some steroids, to treat the deadly infection.
India has been reporting over 3 lakh coronavirus cases and thousands of deaths every day for the last few weeks as the more dangerous second wave of the coronavirus ravaged the country.
Amid the mayhem unleashed by the virus and exacerbated by shortages of medicines, hospital beds and live-saving oxygen, cases of a horrifying secondary infection, commonly called ‘Black Fungus’, have emerged from several states.
Experts say because of the misuse of steroids – which can diminish the natural immunity of the body, fungal and bacterial infections are adding to the Covid-linked fatalities.
“Misuse of steroids is a major cause behind this infection. Chances of fungal infection increase in the patients who are diabetic, Covid positive and those who are taking steroids. To prevent it, we should stop the misuse of steroids,” AIIMS Director Randeep Guleria had said on Saturday.