As we know, the new anti-Covid oral drug 2-deoxy-D-glucose (2-DG) was approved by the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) for emergency use on Covid-19 patients. Not many know that there are doctors and Covid patients from King George Hospital, Vizag who played a key role in making the clinical trials of this drug successful. With about 200 Covid-19 patients given clinical trials all over for the 2 DG drug, 9 of them are from KGH, Vizag.
The 2-DG drug was developed by the Institute of Nuclear Medicine and Allied Sciences (INMAS), a laboratory of Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), in collaboration with Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories (DRL) in Hyderabad. The 2-DG drug has been effectively used in cancer treatment. The drug which comes in powder is taken orally by dissolving it in water. It was during the first pandemic in 2020 when scientists started working on the drug and found that it can stop the spread of coronavirus inside the body cells. In May 2020, permission for clinical trials was given by DCGI and few patients from KGH, Vizag were administered the drug as a part of the clinical trials. “In King George Hospital (AMC-KGH), a team of ten doctors and specialists had taken up Covid-19 clinical trials on 9 patients in May 2020. The report on the condition of the patients during the trials was sent to DRDO. And it is happy to hear that the drug was successful and would be soon available for the Covid patients,” said Principal, Andhra Medical College PV Sudhakar.
During the clinical trials, patients with liver and kidney problems were exempted and only patients with minimal diabetes or mild hypertension were taken up for trials. The drug, when taken, prevents the growth of the virus by stopping viral synthesis and energy production. Its accumulation in virally infected cells makes this drug unique. According to the sources, the 2-DG drug during clinical trials showed positive results even in patients on ventilator support. After administering the powdered drug, saturation levels of those patients showed improvement.
Once the 2-DG drug is available in the market, KGH officials are also ready to use it for Covid-19 patients treated at the hospital. This comes as good news for Vizag as it grapples with the continuously rising number of Covid-19 cases.