JNS: Anti-COVID drug 2-deoxy-D-glucose (2-DG) developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) was launched on Monday. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan released the first batch of drug 2-deoxy-D-glucose at DRDO Bhawan.

The anti-COVID-19 therapeutic application of the drug 2-deoxy-D-glucose (2-DG) has been developed by Institute of Nuclear Medicine and Allied Sciences (INMAS), a lab of Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), along with Dr Reddy’s Laboratories (DRL), Hyderabad.

The drug comes in powder form in a sachet, which is taken orally in water. It accumulates in the virus-infected cells and prevents virus growth by stopping viral synthesis and energy production. This medicine is unique because of its selective accumulation in virally infected cells.

During the launch one box each of the sachets of the drug was handed over to Dr Randeep Guleria, Director, All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi and Lt Gen Sunil Kant of Armed Forces Medical Services (AFMS).

Speaking at the launch Dr Harsh Vardhan remarked that today is a historic day in our fight against COVID and congratulated the scientific community and DRDO for their patience and perseverance for developing first indigenous medicine.

He said that the drug has the potential to become a game changer in our response against COVID pandemic as it reduces the dependence of patients on oxygen administration and has the potential of getting absorbed differentially and in a selected manner.

In the COVID infected cells, it inhibits virus synthesis and energy production for the process, he said.

Dr Harsh Vardhan further stated that around thirty hospitals were involved in the clinical trials of this drug. “The drug will go to the selective cells and prevent synthesis of virus and reduce recovery time,” he added.

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