In an exclusive conversation with India TV, DRDO chief G. Satheesh Reddy on Sunday said the anti-COVID drug, which has been approved for emergency use, will be rolled out by May 11. Explaining further, the DRDO chief said the drug will help neutralise most of the COVID-19 symptoms and will prevent the growth of the virus inside the body. Regarding the availability of the drug, Reddy said arrangements for proper distribution across all hospitals need to be done and a team is already working on the same.
Speaking about the drug, the DRDO chief also said it would help improve the level of oxygen in the body. The drug is expected to help coronavirus patients within three days of consumption.
An anti-COVID-19 therapeutic application of the drug 2-deoxy-D-glucose (2-DG) has been developed by the Institute of Nuclear Medicine and Allied Sciences (INMAS), a lab of Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), in collaboration with Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories (DRL), Hyderabad. Clinical trial results have shown that this molecule helps in 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. The drug will be of immense benefit to the people suffering from COVID-19.
The drug has been approved by the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) for emergency use as an adjunct therapy in moderate to severe coronavirus patients.
The approval to the drug comes at a time when India has been grappling with a record-breaking wave of coronavirus pandemic that has stretched the country's healthcare infrastructure to its limit.
"In the ongoing second COVID-19 wave, a large number of patients are facing severe oxygen dependency and need hospitalisation. The drug is expected to save precious lives due to the mechanism of operation of the drug in infected cells. This also reduces the hospital stay of COVID-19 patients," the ministry said.
It said the anti-COVID-19 therapeutic application of 2-DG drug has been developed by the Institute of Nuclear Medicine and Allied Sciences (INMAS), a leading laboratory of Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), in collaboration with Dr Reddy's Laboratories (DRL) in Hyderabad.