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DRDO's anti-Covid drug 2-DG effective against all Covid-19 strains, reduces cell death: Study

DRDO's drug against the coronavirus disease (Covid-19), 2-deoxy-D-glucose (2-DG), reduces the multiplicity of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, alleviates cells from infection-induced cytopathic effect (CPE) and cell death, the preliminary study claimed.
By hindustantimes.com | Written by Joydeep Bose
PUBLISHED ON JUN 17, 2021 05:43 AM IST
Union defence minister Rajnath Singh hands over to Health minister Harsh Vardhan the newly launched anti-COVID drug 2-DG, developed by DRDO, in New Delhi. (File Photo / PTI)

A new study has claimed that 2-DG, the drug against coronavirus disease (Covid-19) developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), is effective against all variants of Covid-19 and even reduces the multiplicity of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. The preliminary study also showed that DRDO's anti-Covid drug alleviates cells from infection-induced cytopathic effect (CPE) and cell death, according to its abstract reviewed by news agency ANI.

Also Read: Govt rolls out DRDO-formed Covid drug, experts call for more research

DRDO's Covid-19 drug, 2-deoxy-D-glucose (2-DG), was released amid much tucket by Union ministers Rajnath Singh and Dr. Harsh Vardhan on May 17. While releasing the first batch of DRDO's anti-Covid drug, the central government claimed that the drug has the potential to reduce a patient's average recovery time by two and a half days and oxygen demand by up to 40%. It was provided authorisation for emergency use by the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) on June 1 as an adjunct therapy for moderate to severe coronavirus patients.

The new study assessing the viability of DRDO's anti-Covid drug was conducted by Abhishek Kumar, Dhiviya Vedagiri, Annat Narayan Bhatt, Yogesh Rai, and others. It has not been peer-reviewed yet, ANI noted.

Also Read: DRDO issues directions for use of 2-DG, its drug for Covid-19 patients

DRDO's anti-Covid drug 2-DG was used in the study to aim and inhibit the "metabolic reprogramming" induced by Covid-19 infection in patients suffering from the disease. The results showed that the Covid-19 infection causes a high influx of glucose in the body and glycolysis in the cells, resulting in selective high accumulation of the fluorescent glucose/2-DG analogue and 2-NBDG. The anti-Covid drug from DRDO, 2-DG, subsequently reduces the virus multiplication and alleviates the cells from infection-induced cytopathic effect and cell death, the study found.

Government officials have said that DRDO's anti-Covid drug will be priced at 900 per sachet in the market, sold by the Hyderabad-based Dr. Reddy's Laboratories (DRL), although it will provide the drug at discounted prices to the central and state governments.

Medical practitioners, however, suggest exercising some caution regarding the use of DRDO's anti-Covid drug 2-DG. The effect of the anti-viral drug on patients with comorbidities such as uncontrolled diabetes, severe cardiac problems, and even renal impairment, ARDS, etc. has not been studied yet. Moreover, the DRDO advises that the 2-DG be prescribed as early into the treatment cycle of moderate to severe Covid-19 patients as possible, for a maximum duration of up to 10 days.

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