Nellore: The Defence Research and Development Organisation’s (DRDO) anti-Covid drug will be made available next week to those who are in need, bringing major relief to thousands of people who are struggling for breath in Covid hospitals and undergoing treatment in home isolation,.
Dr G. Satheesh Reddy, secretary, department of defence research and development, and Chairman, DRDO, said that 10,000 sachets of the new anti-Covid drug — 2 DG 2-deoxy-D-glucose — that was developed by a defence lab will be released either on May 11 or 12.
The Drugs Controller General of India’s (DCGI) had approved the anti-Covid drug developed by DRDO’s Institute of Nuclear Medicine and Allied Sciences (INMAS) in collaboration with Dr Reddy’s Laboratories (DRL), Hyderabad, for emergency use.
Against this backdrop, Dr Satheesh Reddy told this newspaper that the 2 DG will be available in sizable numbers after three weeks while pointing to large-scale production in the offing.
Responding to a question on the effectiveness of 2-DG in the new Covid strains emerged during the second wave as the trails were conducted in the first phase, Dr Sateesh Reddy asserted that the drug can deal with any virus strain.
“2-DG accumulates in the virus-infected cells and prevents virus growth by stopping viral synthesis and energy production. Its selective accumulation in virally infected cells makes this drug unique,” Dr Reddy maintained.
He said 51 per cent of the patients were cured within three days during the third phase of clinical trials and others within 5 to 7 days after administering the drug, which can be used for moderate to severe Covid patients.
It is a generic molecule and it can be produced in any country, he informed. On production plans, he said they have been discussing bulk production and they would come out with an action plan within the next two or three days.
He praised the DRDO scientists for their concern towards the people and country and their outstanding contribution through scientific solutions for Covid infected.
Dr Sateesh Reddy said they were coming out with light-weight oxygen gas cylinders with regulator and non-returnable valve with features to save oxygen and it would be very useful to those using it at home. He added that they were also developing software to detect Covid infection using artificial intelligence with the help of a Chest X-Ray.