Dr Reddy’s Laboratories has priced the anti-COVID-19 therapeutic drug 2-DG (2-deoxy-D-glucose), developed in collaboration with the Institute of Nuclear Medicine and Allied Sciences, which falls under the Defence Research & Development Organisation, at ₹990 per sachet.
ANI news agency quoted officials as saying that central and state government hospitals will be provided with the oral medicine at a discounted price. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh had on Thursday said that 10,000 sachets of the drug will be available in the market.
Results of clinical trials have shown that this molecule helps in the faster recovery of hospitalised patients and reduces supplemental oxygen dependence.
A higher proportion of patients treated with 2-DG showed RT-PCR negative conversion in COVID patients.
In April 2020, during the first wave of the pandemic, INMAS-DRDO scientists conducted laboratory experiments with the help of Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB), Hyderabad, and found that this molecule works effectively against SARS-CoV-2 virus and inhibits the viral growth.
Based on these results, the Drugs Controller General of India’s Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation permitted Phase-II clinical trial of 2-DG in COVID-19 patients in May 2020. The DRDO, along with its industry partner DRL, Hyderabad, started the clinical trials to test the safety and efficacy of the drug in patients. In Phase-II trials (including dose ranging) conducted during May-October 2020, the drug was found to be safe in COVID-19 patients and showed significant improvement in their recovery.