Dr Reddy’s Laboratories on Monday announced the commercial launch of anti-Covid drug 2DG, developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). This comes after the DRDO earlier on June 1 said that the anti-Covid drug is approved for emergency use as an adjunct therapy to the standard of care in the treatment of coronavirus patients in hospital settings.

“Ideally, 2DG should be prescribed as early as possible by doctors for moderate to severe Covid patients for a maximum duration of up to 10 days,” it said.

The DRDO further said that uncontrolled diabetes, severe cardiac problem, ARDS, severe hepatic and renal impairment patients have not been studied yet with 2DG, and hence caution should be exercised.

“The 2DG should not be given to pregnant and lactating women and patients below 18 years,” it added.

The first batch of DRDO’s anti-Covid-19 drug was released on May 17 by Union defence minister Rajnath Singh and health minister Dr Harsh Vardhan, after the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) permitted the emergency use authorisation of 2-deoxy-D-glucose (2-DG), anti-viral drug as an adjunct therapy for moderate to severe coronavirus patients.

The 2DG drug comes in powder form in the sachet, which is 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. Its selective accumulation in virally infected cells makes this drug unique. The drug reportedly reduces a patient’s average recovery time by two and a half days and oxygen demand by up to 40 per cent, the Union health ministry had said.