Amid a ravaging second wave of the coronavirus outbreak that crippled the health infrastructure of the country, India has rolled out a Covid-19 drug that has been locally developed.
The Indian authorities approved the drug known as 2-deoxy-D-glucose or 2-DG. The drug for treating Covid-19 symptoms was developed by India's Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and pharma company Dr Reddy's.
The groundbreaking new drug will be first used in hospitals across the capital New Delhi. The Indian media reported on Saturday that as many as 10,000 doses of the drug has already been distributed.
The Indian government said the drug will be of immense benefit to the people suffering from Covid-19. "Clinical trial results have shown that this molecule helps in faster recovery of hospitalized patients and reduces supplemental oxygen dependence," the government said in a press release.
The Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) had given the go-ahead to the drug more than a week ago. for the treatment of people with moderate and severe Covid-19 symptoms.
What is 2-DG?
2-deoxy-D-glucose is a modified glucose molecule which has therapeutic value as an anticancer and antiviral agent. The drug basically uses pseudo glucose molecule to stop the virus from multiplying inside the human body.
The drug comes in powder form and can be taken orally by dissolving it in water. Research across the world has suggested 2-DG as a possible drug to treat the symptoms of Covid-19, which has no treatment so far.
Though there is a lack of proper clinical evidence about the efficacy of the drug, India has gone ahead with its use as the second wave has been particularly punishing for the country. India has been reporting more than 300,000 new cases on a daily basis for most part of the last 30 days. Daily deaths breached the 4,000 mark several days during this period, dealing a deadly blow to the country's confidence to tame the virus.
India's health minister Harsh Vardhan said the drug is expected to reduce recovery time and oxygen dependency. He added that the drug will be the first indigenous research-based outcome to fight the virus.
The health ministry added that clinical trials showed the drug hastens the recovery process and supplemental oxygen dependence.