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Coronavirus: DRDO’s anti-Covid drug 2-DG receives DCGI approval for emergency use

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The second phase trial on average showed that patients administered with the drug recovered 2.5 days earlier than other patients. (Representative image)

An anti-COVID-19 therapeutic drug developed by DRDO called drug2-deoxy-D-glucose (2-DG) has been given emergency approval by the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) for Coronavirus patients in the country. The drug, which was developed by the DRDO in association with pharma major Dr Reddy’s Laboratories, has been found to be effective in controlling the viral growth, resulting in faster recovery of hospitalised patients, DCGI said. The anti-Covid-19 drug was developed by DRDO last year and has undergone three phases of clinical trials between April 2020 and March 2021.

While the first phase trial of the drug was completed in April-May 2020, the second phase clinical trials sanctioned by the DCGI continued between May 2020 and October 2020 last year. During the second phase clinical trial the drug was administered to a total of 110 patients admitted in about 11 hospitals in the country. The second phase trial on average showed that patients administered with the drug recovered 2.5 days earlier than other patients.

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Even as the Coronavirus cases plateaued in the country after September last year, the DRDO applied for the third phase clinical trial of the drug in November 2020. The third phase clinical trials eventually were permitted to be conducted between December 2020 and March 2021. The number of participants in the third phase increased to 220 patients admitted across 27 hospitals in a number of states-Delhi, UP, West Bengal, Gujrat, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, and Tamil Nadu. Faster recovery and reduced dependence on Oxygen therapy was reported in patients administered with the drug in phase 3 clinical trials as well.

With the second wave of Coronavirus wreaking havoc in the country, the DCGI granted emergency drug use approval earlier this month. The drug which constitutes an analogue of glucose can also be manufactured in huge quantities in the country quickly, DCGI said in a statement. The drug comes in the form of a powder in a sachet and is supposed to be dissolved in water and directly consumed by Covid-19 patients, DCGI added.

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