DRDO nod for Mankind Pharma to manufacture COVID-19 drug 2-DG
Pharmaceutical firm Mankind Pharma on Thursday announced that it has received approval from the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) to manufacture and market the COVID-19 drug 2-Deoxy-D-Glucose or 2-DG. The drug was developed by Defence Research Development Establishment (DRDE), Gwalior, and clinical trials were conducted by the Institute of Nuclear Medicine and Allied Sciences (INMAS) in collaboration with Dr. Reddy's Laboratories.
Aim is to ensure maximum reach of drug: Mankind Pharma
Mankind Pharma, popular for its brands Manforce and Prega News, said in a statement on Thursday that it will manufacture the anti-COVID-19 drug at its facilities in Visakhapatnam and Himachal Pradesh. The company said, "Our objective behind this agreement is to ensure maximum reach of this medication to the deserving Indian patients suffering from the deadly pandemic."
How effective is the drug against COVID-19?
2-DG helps in the recovery of hospitalized patients and is recommended for moderate to severe COVID-19 patients under a physician's supervision as an adjunct therapy. It selectively accumulates in virus-infected cells and stops viral synthesis and energy production. The drug also alleviates cells from infection-induced cytopathic effects and cell death. It helps patients recover faster and reduces their dependence on supplemental oxygen.
Apart from Mankind Pharma, who else is manufacturing the drug?
Apart from Mankind Pharma, other companies such as Laurus Labs, Bajaj Healthcare have also received approvals to manufacture the drug. Another drugmaker, Shilpa Medicare, has also announced that it had received in-principle approval from DRDO. According to officials, since the drug is a generic molecule and analog of glucose, it can be easily produced and can be made available in plenty.
How much will it cost?
The drug comes in powder form in a sachet and can be taken orally by dissolving it in water. Reportedly, the drug will be available in the market at a fixed price of Rs. 990. However, the DRDO will provide the drug for free to state and central governments. Notably, Dr. Reddy's has been producing the drug in limited quantity for hospitals.
Drug can be only used to treat moderate-severe patients
2-DG, which was given approval for emergency use on May 1, can only be used to treat moderate to severe COVID-19 patients. While the drug is strictly prohibited to pregnant and lactating women and patients under 18 years, people with uncontrolled diabetes, cardiac problems, ARDS, severe hepatic and renal impairment are also advised to take caution before taking the drug.