India launches anti-COVID drug ‘2-DG’


Delhi, May 17: The first batch of the adjunct COVID therapy anti-COVID drug, 2-deoxy-D-glucose (2-DG), was released by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh in the presence of Union Health & Family Welfare Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan in New Delhi on Monday.

One box each of the sachets of the drug were 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).

More will be handed over to different hospitals across the country for emergency use. An anti-COVID-19 therapeutic application of the drug 2-deoxy-D-glucose (2-DG) has been developed by Institute of Nuclear Medicine and Allied Sciences (INMAS), a lab of Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), along with Dr Reddy’s Laboratories (DRL), Hyderabad.

Speaking on the occasion, Defence Minister Singh congratulated DRDO and DRL, Hyderabad for manufacturing the drug that will help the COVID patients to reduce oxygen dependency and recover quickly.

He described the drug as a perfect example of the country’s scientific prowess and a milestone in the efforts towards self-reliance.

“2-DG drug is a new ray of hope in these challenging times,” said Singh, expressing confidence that the medicine will play a crucial role in winning the fight against COVID-19.

He said the development and production of the drug is a shining example of public-private sector partnership to help the nation in these challenging times.

He further said when the situation improves, he would personally like to honour the scientists who played a major role in the development of the drug as they deserve credit for this achievement.

In his address, Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan termed 2-DG as an important development by DRDO and DRL, Hyderabad that will reduce the recovery time and oxygen dependency in COVID-19 patients. He hoped that the drug will go a long way in defeating the virus in not just India but across the globe. He congratulated DRDO and its scientists for playing an important role in the fight against COVID-19.

Secretary Department of Defence R&D and Chairman DRDO Dr G Satheesh Reddy expressed confidence that the anti-COVID drug will help the patients recover from the deadly virus, hoping that DRL, Hyderabad will take it forward and soon make the drug available for the patients. He also thanked Raksha Mantri for his continuous guidance and support.

Joining the event virtually, Chairman, DRL Kallam Satish Reddy said he is glad to have partnered with DRDO and INMAS in the development of 2-DG.

He said DRL will increase the production capacity of the drug which is expected to be made available to all hospitals by the first week of June.

Secretary (Health& Family Welfare) Dr Rajesh Bhushan and DG Health Services Dr Sunil Kumar were also among the dignitaries who attended the event. Besides Chairman, DRL, Director, Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology Dr Rakesh Mishra and many doctors, hospitals and labs across the country joined the event virtually.

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