Published: 18th May 2021
What the FAQ: What is 2-DG, the indigenously developed anti-COVID drug? How does it work?
How does the 2-deoxy-D-glucose drug work, how do we take it, does it help with COVID? We answer all these questions in today's What the FAQ
India's Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan on Monday released the first batch of the indigenously developed anti-COVID-19 drug called 2-deoxy-D-glucose or ‘2-DG’. The national drug regulator, Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI), had cleared its formulation on May 1 for emergency use as an adjunct therapy in moderate to severe patients. We try to answer all the important questions about the drug — what it does, how it works, how one can take it and more.
How was the 2-deoxy-D-glucose drug made?
The drug 2-DG has been developed by the Institute of Nuclear Medicine and Allied Sciences (INMAS), New Delhi, a lab of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), in collaboration with Hyderabad-based pharma company Dr Reddy’s Laboratories (DRL), the Ministry of Defence had said in a release earlier this month. DRDO Project Director and Scientist of 2-DG, Dr Sudhir Chandana has said that when the pandemic hit India in April 2020, they discovered that 2-DG halts the spread of COVID-19 inside the body cells. "After the findings, we asked the DCGI for permission to conduct clinical trials," he said. In May 2020, the DRDO received permission to conduct the clinical trials. The phase 2 trials were concluded in October 2020. The results showed that in terms of improvement of vital signs of COVID-19 symptomatic patients, there was a difference of 2.5 days compared to Standard of Care (SoC). Approval for Phase - III clinical trials were granted in November 2020. These were conducted in 27 COVID-19 hospitals spread across several states.
How does it work on COVID-19?
The DRDO-developed the 2 DG drug spreads through the body like glucose. It reaches the virus-infected cells and prevents virus growth by stopping viral synthesis and destroys the protein's energy production. The drug also works on virus infection spread into lungs, which helps decrease patient's dependability on oxygen.
How can 2-DG be taken or consumed?
The anti-COVID drug 2-DG has been developed in powder form and is ingested orally by dissolving it in water. According to Dr Sudhir Chandna, DRDO Project Director and Scientist of 2-DG, it can be consumed twice a day. A patient may have to take this drug twice a day for about five to seven days. However, it should be consumed only on the advice of your doctor.