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Hyderabad-based pharma major Dr. Reddy's Laboratories on Monday announced the commercial launch of 2-deoxy-D-glucose (2-DG) for treatment of Covid-19. It is an oral drug to be administered to hospitalised moderate to severe Covid-19 patients as an adjunct therapy to the existing standard of care, only upon prescription and under the supervision of a qualified physician. The drug was given emergency use approval for anti-Covid-19 therapeutic application on May 1, 2021.
The Institute of Nuclear Medicine & Allied Sciences (INMAS), a laboratory of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) collaborated with Dr. Reddy's to develop the drug. According to the manufacturer, 2-deoxy-D-glucose (2-DG) has a purity of 99.5% and is being sold commercially under the brand name 2DG.
"2-DG is yet another addition to our Covid-19 portfolio that already covers the full spectrum of mild to moderate and severe conditions and includes a vaccine. We are extremely pleased to have partnered with DRDO in our collective fight against the Covid-19 pandemic," said Satish Reddy, Chairman, Dr. Reddy's.
Dr. Reddy's will be supplying the drug to major government and private hospitals across India. However, in the initial weeks, it will be available in hospitals across metros and Tier 1 cities, and subsequently expanded to cover the rest of India.
The company has fixed the maximum retail price (MRP) of each sachet at Rs. 990, with a subsidized rate offered to government institutions.
"We are pleased to have worked closely with our long-term industry partner Dr. Reddy's Laboratories, Hyderabad, for testing 2-DG as therapeutic application in treatment of Covid-19 patients. DRDO has been contributing in fight against Covid-19 pandemic with its spin off technologies," stated Dr. G. Satheesh Reddy, Secretary Department of Defence (R&D) and Chairman, DRDO.
The anti-COVID drug 2-DG comes in powder form in sachet and it should be taken orally by dissolving it in water. The DRDO had earlier this month issued directions on how to use this drug for COVID-19 patients. In its statement, DRDO noted that this drug can also prevent the virus from spreading rapidly in the body.
"Ideally, 2DG should be prescribed as early as possible by doctors for moderate to severe COVID-19 patients for maximum duration up to 10 days," the organisation stated.
The DRDO also cautioned against the use of this drug in people with underlying conditions like uncontrolled diabetes, severe cardiac problem, acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), severe hepatic and renal impairment. The drug has not been studied yet on these groups of people so caution should be exercised while prescribing this medicine to them, DRDO noted.
Further, it said that 2DG should not be given to pregnant and lactating women and patients below 18 years.
Last month, the defence ministry had announced that the clinical trials of 2-DG showed that it resulted in faster recovery of hospitalised patients and reduction in supplemental oxygen dependence. Patients treated with 2-DG showed faster symptomatic cure than the standard of care on various endpoints, the ministry said.
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