The first batch of DRDO’s anti-Covid-19 drug was released on May 17 by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and health minister Dr Harsh Vardhan, after the Drugs Controller General of India permitted the emergency use authorisation of 2-deoxy-D-glucose (2-DG), anti-viral drug as an adjunct therapy for moderate to severe coronavirus patients.
In April last year when the pandemic broke out, scientists of Institute of Nuclear Medicine and Allied Sciences (INMAS), a lab of DRDO conducted laboratory experiments with the help of the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB), Hyderabad in collaboration with DRL and found that this molecule works effectively against the SARS-CoV-2 virus and inhibits viral growth.
The 2-DG drug comes in powder form in the sachet, which is taken orally by dissolving it in water.
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 drug reportedly reduces a patient’s average recovery time by two and a half days and oxygen demand by up to 40 per cent, the Union Health Ministry said.