As has been reported earlier this anti-COVID-19 therapeutic application of the drug 2-deoxy-D-glucose (2-DG) has been jointly developed by Institute of Nuclear Medicine and Allied Sciences (INMAS), Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), and Dr Reddy’s Laboratories (DRL), Hyderabad.
On Monday, the first batch of the adjunct COVID therapy anti-COVID drug, 2-deoxy-D-glucose (2-DG), was officially released by the defence minister Rajnath Singh. As has been reported earlier this anti-COVID-19 therapeutic application of the drug 2-deoxy-D-glucose (2-DG) has been jointly developed by Institute of Nuclear Medicine and Allied Sciences (INMAS), Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), and Dr Reddy’s Laboratories (DRL), Hyderabad.
Responding to questions by Financial Express Online, the official spokesperson of Dr Reddy’s in an email has confirmed, “2-DG is an oral drug to be administered upon prescription to hospitalised moderate to severe COVID-19 patients along with existing standard of care.”
By when will it be available in the Indian pharmacies?
“We expect commercial launch of the drug in June, and expect to supply it to hospitals,” the spokesperson of Dr Reddy’s said.
What will be the price?
“We will share an update on the price soon. The price is being determined with a view to making it accessible and affordable to as many patients as possible.”
What did the defence minister say at the launch?
This drug is expected to help the COVID patients recover faster and less dependent on oxygen.
In his address the minister described the 2-DG drug as a new ray of hope in the present challenging times. The minister expressed confidence that the medicine will play a crucial role in winning the fight against COVID-19. According to him the development and production of the drug is the best example of public-private sector partnership, to help the country in these challenging times.
He also announced that he would personally honour the scientists who played a critical role in the development of the drug as they deserve credit for this achievement.
Oxygen Supply situation in the country
The oxygen supply in the country has been substantially increased to more than 9,500 Metric Tonnes (MT) per day from around 4,700 MT, which was at the start of May.
The minister in an official statement issued by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) on May 17, 2021 has said that the situation is being monitored on a regular basis. Adding, “Effective measures have been taken to meet the requirement of oxygen supply, medicines & ICU beds in hospitals across the country. This is being done through collective efforts of the various ministries and departments.”
The minister also in his address highlighted the major role played by the armed forces in dealing with the surge in the COVID cases, especially IAF and the Navy working round the clock in transporting concentrators, oxygen tankers, containers and other critical medical equipment from within the country and overseas.
He referred to the preparedness of the Armed Forces, saying that while they are providing support to the civil administration in fighting the second COVID-19 wave, they have not let their guard down.
In the MoD statement, Chairman, DRL Kallam Satish Reddy, on the partnership with INMAS/DRDO in the development of 2-DG, termed it as a re-affirmation of his company’s efforts to address COVID through a host of therapeutics and vaccines.
Who was present during the official launch?
Secretary Department of Defence R&D and Chairman DRDO Dr G Satheesh Reddy; Secretary (Health & Family Welfare) Dr Rajesh Bhushan and DG Health Services Dr Sunil Kumar attended the event. Besides Chairman, DRL, Director, Dr Rakesh Mishra of Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh handed over to Minister for Health & Family Welfare, Science & Tech and Earth Sciences Dr Harsh Vardhan in New Delhi one box of the drug. It was also handed over to Director, All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) Dr Randeep Guleria and Lt Gen Sunil Kant of Armed Forces Medical Services (AFMS).
And more of this drug will be shared across different hospitals across the country for emergency use.