New Delhi: An anti-coronavirus oral drug developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) for the treatment of moderate to severe covid patients will be launched today.
Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh will be distributing the first batch of around 10,000 doses of the 2-deoxy-D-glucose or 2-DG to some hospitals in the national capital.
The drug developed by a DRDO lab in collaboration with Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories got approval from the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) for emergency use.
According to DRDO, the medicine comes in powder form and can be taken with water orally.
During the phase 2 trials, conducted between May and October last year, the medicine was found to be safe for Covid-19 patients. The results have shown that the oral drug helps in cutting short the hospital stays of Covid patients and reducing their supplemental oxygen dependence.
The DRDO explained that in the 2-deoxy-D-glucose arm, a significantly higher proportion of covid patients improved symptomatically and became free by the third day from supplemental oxygen dependence (42% vs 31%) in comparison to SoC (Standard of Care). The drug works in a way that a kind of pseudo glucose molecule present in it stops the virus in its tracks.
2-DG is one of the few medicines designed specifically to treat COVID-19, which, as of now, has no cure. Several experimental drugs and procedures, including Remdevisir, Ivermectin, plasma therapy, and some steroids, are being used to treat the deadly infection.
In the ongoing second Covid-19 wave, India has been reporting over 3 lakh coronavirus cases and thousands of deaths every day for the last few weeks. A large number of patients succumbed to casualty due to severe oxygen supply shortages and lack of hospital beds.
Amid the surges in the active covid cases and death rates, various other cases of a terrifying secondary infection, commonly called ‘Black Fungus’, have emerged from several states.
AIIMS director Randeep Guleria on Saturday said that misuse of steroids is a major cause behind the newly developed infection. Also, the chances of fungal infection increase in diabetic patients, covid positive, and in those who are taking excess steroids. Due to the misuse of steroids, the natural immunity is diminishing and fungal and bacterial infections are killing active and cured Covid patients.