2DG- DRDO’s Anti-Covid Drug

On May 17, 2021, the DRDO released the first batch of 2-DG drugs. The 2-DG was developed by the Defence Research Development Organisation for Emergency Use. 2-DG is 2-Deoxy – D – Glucose. It is to be provided as a supplementary. Around 10,000 doses are to be launched first.

It was developed in collaboration with Dr Reddy’s Laboratories.

The Dr Reddy’s Laboratories had partnered with Russian Direct Investment Fund to conduct clinical trials of Sputnik vaccine in India. It will soon distribute the Russian vaccine in the country.

About 2-DG drug

  • The drug ensures faster recovery of hospitalised patients and will reduce supplemental oxygen dependence during clinical trials.
  • It accumulates in infected cells and stops viral synthesis. This accumulation makes the drug unique.
  • The drug comes in a powdered form in sachets. It is consumed orally after dissolving in water.
  • It was developed by Institute of Nuclear Medicine and Allied Sciences (INMAS). INMAS is a laboratory operating under DRDO.
  • The DGCI has granted permission for emergency use of the drug in moderate to severe COVID-19 patients.
  • 2-DG is a generic molecule and thus can be easily produced and made available in plenty in the country.

How are 2-DG accumulated in the cells?

The 2-DG is a glucose molecule. It cannot undergo further glycolysis. Glycolysis is the process in which free energy is released. The 2-DG molecules are up taken by the glucose transporters of the cell. The glucose transporters are membrane proteins that facilitate the transport of glucose across plasma membrane. This is how the drug reaches the cells. As it cannot undergo glycolysis it simply stays in the cells. Continuous intake of the drug thus leads to accumulation in the cell.

2-DG as Tumour therapeutic

The cancer cells have higher glucose uptake. Thus, when 2-DG is injected into cancer patients, it acts as a good marker for cancer cells.

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