Rajnath Singh, Harsh Vardhan release first batch of DRDO’s anti-COVID drug 2-DG


Express News Service

NEW DELHI: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Health Minister Harsh Vardhan on Monday released the first batch of the DRDO-developed anti-COVID drug 2DG here in the national capital. Singh expressed hope that the medicine would be beneficial in the fight against the pandemic.

“I thank all those who are associated in the research and development of this drug, including DRDO. 2-deoxy-D-glucose (2-DG) drug would be helpful in containing the virus. This is an example of our country’s scientific prowess,” Singh said after releasing the drug.

From Monday onwards, hospitals will receive the supplies. A total of 10,000 sachets of the drug will be supplied to several hospitals in Delhi.

The drug comes in a 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. Its selective accumulation in virally infected cells makes this drug unique.

Not only has the drug been found assisting in oxygen dependency, it also reduces the hospital stay of COVID-19 patients, said the Defence Minister.

“I have been informed that people who have been treated with this drug got well two-and-a-half days earlier. We have got to see that dependency on oxygen is reduced by 40 per cent. The best thing is it is in powder form which people can easily mix with water and use,” Rajnath said.

The drug 2-DG was developed by the Institute of Nuclear Medicine and Allied Sciences (INMAS), a lab of DRDO, in collaboration with Dr Reddy’s Laboratories (DRL) in Hyderabad. It was given approval by the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) on May 8 for emergency use in moderate to severe cases of COVID-19. It was put through three phases of trials.

While assuring that the government is doing its best in dealing with the crisis across the country, the Defence Minister said there would be no impact on the borders.
“Our soldiers are full of energy and enthusiasm, guarding the borders. We all know how much bigger the challenges are, we will overcome them,” he said.

DRDO Chairman G Sateesh Reddy and AIIMS Director Randeep Guleria were also present on the occasion.

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