New Delhi: A drug to treat coronavirus patients, developed by the DRDO (Defence Research and Development Organisation), has been approved for emergency use by the country’s top drugs controller as India battles the second wave of the pandemic that is killing thousands every day.The drug comes in powder form in a sachet and is taken orally by dissolving it in water.
A DRDO lab and Hyderabad-based Dr Reddy’s Laboratories developed the anti-Covid therapeutic application of the drug 2-deoxy-D-glucose (2-DG).
The third phase of the clinical trial results have shown that this molecule helps in faster recovery of hospitalised patients and reduces supplemental oxygen dependence. Higher proportion of patients treated with 2-DG showed RT-PCR negative conversion in patients infected with coronavirus.
In the second phase of trials between May and October last year, the drug was found to be safe in COVID-19 patients and showed significant improvement in their recovery. The second round was conducted in 110 patients. While the third round of trials was conducted in six hospitals, “dose ranging” was conducted in 11 hospitals across India.
Massive international help has been pouring in as India reports shortage of essential drugs, medical oxygen and other supplies needed for Covid patients after the the sudden surge in COVID-19 cases crippled the country’s healthcare system.
At a time when the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic hammers the country and a large number of patients are requiring severe oxygen dependency and 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 and burden on health infrastructure of the country.
India today recorded 4,187 coronavirus deaths, the highest daily count so far, even as more and more states imposed lockdowns in a desperate bid to halt the devastating new surge. Over 4.01 lakh new infections pushed the total caseload to over 2.18 crore.