2DG crucial in treating Covid, says man behind the drug


Express News Service

NEW DELHI: The 2DG (2-Deoxy-D-glucose) drug will be equally effective on corona patients, believes Professor Dr Vinay Jain, former director of the Institute of Nuclear Medicine & Allied Sciences (INMAS), who played an instrumental role in introducing the drug in India for the treatment of brain cancer patients. 2DG has been given nod by authorities for treating Covid-19 patients.

“The metabolism of both tumour and Covid-infected cells is almost the same. Once the virus enters the cell, it replicates itself and uses a cell machiner. It is the same as what a tumour does in the human body. The energy requirement of the Covid virus is much similar to how the tumour functions. Hence, the drug will play a crucial role in treating corona patients,” Dr Jain said.He further noted that the drug has the potential to resist entry of the coronavirus into the body, though more verification is needed on that aspect.

“2DG will not only work on moderate and severe patients but there also is a possibility that those in early stages can also be given the drug. However, that depends a lot on availability. The metabolism of it is such that the drug can resist the entry of the Covid virus in the body, as per theoretical studies, although more verification is needed,” he added.

Before retiring, Dr Jain had been extensively working on the benefits of 2DG. He had first begun studying and researching the 2DG at the Goethe University in Frankfurt from 1970 to 1973. After coming back, he joined AIIMS and continued the research. 

“Under the framework of Indo-Gerrman collaboration, in AIIMS we tried 2DG to thyroid cancer patients. We got good results. But since 2DG was not available and is costly, it had to be stopped at that time. I and Dr AK Banerji (a neurosurgeon at AIIMS) wanted to generate interest for 2DG amongst radiotherapists. We came together to use it on brain cancer patients which yielded results,” he said.

Dr Jain stated that when Covid-19 started, he had recommended the then INMAS director Tarun Sekhri to use 2DG on patients.“Sekhri said he will talk to experts and then will let me know. DRDO was convinced and took permission for clinical trials from DGCI and ICMR for phase 1. Then, DRDO with Dr Reddy started working on it who was given the patent. After the initial results were good, DGCI gave permission. Now demand has increased for this drug,” added Dr Jain.

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