DRDO's anti-coronavirus drug cleared for emergency use by DCGI
The Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) has approved the emergency use of an anti-coronavirus drug developed by a laboratory of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) to treat moderate to severe patients, reports say. The drug can help save precious lives even as a dreadful second wave of the coronavirus continues to kill thousands every day. Here are more details on this.
The Institute of Nuclear Medicine and Allied Sciences (INMAS), the DRDO lab, along with the Hyderabad-based Dr. Reddy's Laboratories, has developed the anti-coronavirus therapeutic application of the drug 2-Deoxy-D-Glucose, also called 2-DG. The medicine comes in powder form in a sachet and can be consumed orally by dissolving it in water, the government has said in a release.
The results of clinical trials for the drug show that a molecule present in it helps in faster recovery of hospitalized coronavirus patients and also reduces their dependence on supplemental oxygen. It accumulates in the infected cells and stops the fatal virus from multiplying. In fact, a high percentage of patients treated with the drug tested negative for coronavirus in RT-PCR tests.
Scientists at INMAS-DRDO had started experimenting with this drug early last year. In the second round of trials, conducted on 110 patients, the drug was found to be safe for use in COVID-19 patients and showed significant improvement in their recovery process. Thereafter, phase three trials were conducted on 220 patients from last December to March 2021 at 27 coronavirus hospitals in several states.
India is facing an unprecedented second wave of the coronavirus pandemic, reporting lakhs of infections and hundreds of deaths for the past few weeks. Further, the country's handling of the new wave has been marred by acute shortages of necessary medical equipment such as medical oxygen, hospital beds, ventilators, and drugs. Several friendly nations have rushed essential medical supplies to India in recent days.
In the last 24 hours, India reported over four lakh new cases for the third straight day. More than 4,000 deaths linked to the coronavirus were also registered for the first time during the same period. India's active caseload has now crossed 37 lakh. The second wave peak is expected in a few days, however, experts have already warned of a possible third wave.