India is not only batling the second wave of COVID but the shortage of oxygen, indispensable medicines, ventilators, and other health infrastructure facilities. Amid the ongoing crisis, The first batch of 10,000 doses of 2DG medicine for treating COVID-19 patients will be released early next week and distributed to patients, according to DRDO officials on Friday.
According to an official, the drug works on the principle of ‘cheating the cheater. Once inside the body, any virus makes its copies by deceiving human cells and stealing their protein to multiply itself. Indian scientists’ thought processes were straightforward. Each time a virus cell doubles in size, it requires energy (glucose). So, the medicine is simply a ‘pseudo’ glucose that the multiplying virus consumes, but this drug prevents it from multiplying. Once the virus’s rapid multiplication is halted, the patient’s antibodies can easily combat and overpower it within hours.
Earlier this year, the DCGI granted emergency approval to a similar drug manufactured by pharma behemoth Zydus Cadila. The drug, Virafin, was shown to reduce the need for oxygen support in moderate Covid-19 cases while also improving recovery time.
To bolster its effort to fight the pandemic, The Central Drugs Standards Control Organization (CDSCO) has also granted emergency use authorization for an antibody-drug cocktail developed by Roche and Regeneron to treat the novel coronavirus, according to a statement issued by Roche India on Wednesday. This Emergency Use Authorisation will now enable Roche to import the globally manufactured product batches to India and will be marketed as well as distributed in India through a strategic partnership with Cipla Limited.
The advent of drugs amid the reports of Plasma therapy not being effective on COVID-19 patients is sure to give some respite to India’s struggling health infrastructure.