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All you need to know about DRDO-developed anti-COVID drug, its use, cost, benefits

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Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) on Saturday approved anti-COVID drug 2-deoxy-D-glucose (2-DG) developed by DRDO in collaboration with Dr Reddy’s Laboratories, Hyderabad for emergency use.

What does this mean for India? 

Anti-COVID drug 2-deoxy-D-glucose (2-DG) comes in powder form in a 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. The government expects that the use of this drug will help reduce dependence on medical oxygen and also help in the speedy recovery of patients admitted to hospitals.

How does it work?

“Higher proportion of patients treated with 2-DG showed RT-PCR negative conversion in patients infected with coronavirus,” the press release said. According to reports, the drug stalls the energy production and metabolic reaction of the virus and stops it from multiplying. 

How is it consumed?

Anti-COVID drug 2-deoxy-D-glucose (2-DG) comes in powder form in a sachet, which is taken orally by dissolving it in water.

How effective is the Anti-COVID drug 2-deoxy-D-glucose (2-DG)?

In the ongoing second COVID-19 wave, a large number of patients are facing severe oxygen dependency and need hospitalisation. “The drug is expected to save precious lives due to the mechanism of operation of the drug in infected cells. This also reduces the hospital stay of COVID-19 patients,” the press release said.

The clinical trial results have shown that this molecule helps in the faster recovery of hospitalised patients and reduces supplemental oxygen dependence.

How much will it cost?

According to a report in News18, the pricing has not been announced yet but sources say each sachet is expected to cost Rs 500-600. Dr Reddy’s Lab, DRDO’s industry partner on this project, has already started producing a limited quantity of the drugs for hospitals. Being a generic molecule and analogue of glucose, it can be easily produced and made available in the country.

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