A study conducted to ascertain the drug’s safety and efficacy had found that the drug accumulates in virus-infected cells, and prevents the growth of the virus, helping in faster recovery of patients hospitalised with Covid-19, and reducing their dependence on supplemental oxygen. “The anti-Covid drug from DRDO reduces the virus multiplication and alleviates cells from infection-induced cytopathic effect and cell death,” the study said.
The Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) had permitted the emergency use of 2-DG as an adjunct treatment for moderate to severe Covid-19 infections on May 1. Government officials had also announced that the market price of 2-DG will be fixed at ₹900 per sachet, and sold by the Hyderabad-based Dr Reddy’s Laboratories. Being a generic molecule and an analogue of glucose means 2-DG can be easily manufactured and made available in large quantities. DRDO would reportedly provide the drug for free to central and state governments.