THE WONDER MEDICINE: What is 2-deoxy-D-glucose drug and how effective it is?

The Institute of Nuclear Medicine and Allied Sciences (INMAS) has developed an anti-covid-19 therapeutic application of the drug 2-deoxy-D-glucose (2-DG) that helps in faster recovery of hospitalized patients and reduces supplemental oxygen dependence. This has been approved by the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI). The drug – 2-deoxy-D-glucose (2-DG) – has been approved as an adjunct therapy in moderate to severe cases of coronavirus.

The drug 2-deoxy-D-glucose (2-DG) has been developed by DRDO’s Institute of Nuclear Medicine and Allied Sciences (INMAS) in collaboration with Hyderabad-based Dr Reddy’s Laboritories. Phase-II trials for the 2-DG drug were conducted between May and October of last year.

Six hospitals were part of the Phase-II (a) trials and 11 hospitals were part of the Phase-II (b) trials to determine dose range. A total of 110 patients were part of the Phase-II clinical trials of this drug. In terms of improvement in vital signs of symptomatic patients who were administered the drug, a difference of 2.5 days was seen compared to Standard of Care (SoC).

This is how it works

According to the official statement, “clinical trial results have shown that this molecule helps in faster recovery of hospitalised patients and reduces supplemental oxygen dependence.”

“Higher proportion of patients treated with 2-DG showed RT-PCR negative conversion in COVID patients. The drug will be of immense benefit to the people suffering from Covid-19,” the statement goes on to say.

The 2-DG drug, which comes in powder form in sachets, has to be taken orally by dissolving it in water.

“It accumulates in the virus infected cells and prevents virus growth by stopping viral synthesis and energy production,” said the official statement by the Government of India.

The DRDO says that the 2-deoxy-D-glucose (2-DG) drug can easily be produced and made available in plenty in the country since it is a generic molecule and analogue of glucose.