DCGI gives green signal for using cancer drug for covid-19 treatment

Image source - The Statesman

A cancer treatment drug is repurposed for Covid-19 treatment. 2-deoxy-D-glucose (2-DG)–has received the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) green signal for using it as a covid-19 treatment.

As per the information, The anti-Covid-19 therapeutic application of the drug was developed by, “the Institute of Nuclear Medicine and Allied Sciences” (INMAS), a “Defence Research and Development Organisation” (DRDO) lab, in collaboration with pharma major Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories.

These cancer drugs usually come in a sachet in powder form which has to be taken orally by dissolving in water.

This drug mainly works by accumulating itself in the virus-infected cells and prevents virus growth by stopping further viral synthesis and energy production.

INMAS-DRDO said, “Its selective accumulation in virally infected cells makes this drug unique. A higher proportion of patients treated with 2-DG showed RT-PCR negative conversion in Covid-19 patients.”

According to INMAS-DRDO, “the clinical trial results showed the molecule helps in faster recovery of hospitalized patients and reduces their dependence on supplemental oxygen.”

The statement read, “The INMAS-DRDO scientists had conducted laboratory experiments with the help of Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB), Hyderabad during the first wave of the pandemic in April 2020. They found that this molecule works effectively against the SARS-CoV-2 virus and inhibits the viral growth.”

The Centre said, “based on the preliminary analysis, the drug was permitted Phase-II clinical trial of 2-DG in COVID-19 patients in May 2020, which was conducted over 110 subjects.”

According to the data shared by the Centre, “In Phase-II trials (including dose-ranging) conducted during May to October 2020, the drug was safe in COVID-19 patients and showed significant improvement in their recovery. Phase II-a was conducted in 6 hospitals and Phase II-b (dose-ranging) clinical trial was conducted at 11 hospitals all over the country. Phase-II trial was conducted on 110 patients.”

It added, “In efficacy trends, the patients treated with 2-DG showed faster symptomatic cure than Standard of Care (SOC) on various endpoints. A significantly favorable trend (2.5 days difference) was seen in terms of the median time to achieving normalization of specific vital signs parameters when compared to SOC.”

Based on the phase II results, DCGI has further permitted Phase-III in November 2020, which was studied over 220 subjects and had been taken from 27 hospitals across the country.

The union health ministry informed, “The Phase-III clinical trial was conducted on 220 patients during Dec 2020 to March 2021 on many patients at 27 COVID hospitals in states of Delhi, UP, West Bengal, Gujrat, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, and Tamil Nadu.”

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