2DG of 2 –Deoxy-D-Glucose is a simple composition and soon will be used for Covid-19 patients. DCGI ( Drug Controller General of India, (www.cdsco.gov.in). DRDO was working on this medicine since the first wave of Covid-19 hit India. The medicine developed in INMAS (Institute of Nuclear Medicine and Allied Sciences) in collaboration with Dr. Reddy’s lab in Hyderabad. Although the medicine has been approved for emergency use only till now. However seeing the results of Phase I and Phase II trials, it appears that the medicine will find its way to regular use too, although will be sold only under medical prescription
The principle behind the drug formula
The chemical formula is such that it easily crosses the barrier of the cells through glucose channels. The drug is water-soluble and hence easy on the GI tract for intake and absorption. Once the medicine is taken orally, it reaches the intestines where it is absorbed. The demand for energy of an infected cell is high. Also, the areas where inflammation has occurred require higher energy as the cells are under distress. Hence the medicine once reaches the circulation system is quickly absorbed by those cells in particular. Once the drug has accumulated inside the virus-infected cell, it inhibits further growth of the virus. It mainly stops energy production inside the cells that viruses require to replicate. Since this drug has a unique formula that enables it to penetrate easily in distress or infected cells, it is extremely successful. The immediate effect is reduced inflammation and hence improved oxygen levels and other condition
When will it be available?
It will be immediately available for emergency use. After plasma therapy being discontinued, it is expected that this drug will surely provide better treatment and will fasten the recovery of patients with severe symptoms. The drug also reduces dependency on oxygen and hence can be used on patients developing severe symptoms or having falling oxygen levels.
Since the generic molecular formula is very simple and raw material should be available easily, it can be produced in bulk in a short period. Hence one can expect that after the cautions, move of releasing it for emergency cases only, the drug should hit the stores or be easily available within a month.
How to take the medicine
As mentioned above, the drug is water dissoluble and easy on the GI tract. It will be made available in a sachet. Dosage is likely to be just one sachet every 8 hours to12 hours. Soon it is expected that the medicine will be available in regular stores and can be bought under a doctor’s prescription.
The trials being conducted so far have shown far more benefits than side effects. However, it is important to monitor the side effects in cases having comorbid diseases, especially high glucose. Hence the doctor decides if and when to take the medicine as one has to strike a balance between side effects and benefits. It is a lifesaving drug for those who are getting worse by the day due to exponential virus growth inside the cells.
Cost of drug
It is believed that the drug being developed by DRDO, the government will look very closely towards the pricing and positioning in the market. Although Dr. Reddy’s lap is a collaborator, however, it is imperative that pricing be kept low. The production levels will be established any day and if felt short, the formula will be shared by other pharmaceutical manufacturers to ramp up the production.
Is the drug effective against variants?
The principal as explained above clears that its working has got nothing to do with variant or even virus type. It will be effective for all viruses including Covid-19. The drug is not working on a specific protein such as the spike protein of Coronavirus. It works on the principle of blocking replication of the virus inside the cells raising higher energy demands or in simple words inflammation or releasing distress singles.