The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has invited Expression of Interests (EoIs) to transfer the technology to pharmaceutical companies for production for 2-DC. The defence research organisation developed 2-Deoxy-D-Glucose (2-DG), a drug used for the treatment of COVID-19 patients. The drug has been priced at Rs 990, despite the earlier claims that it'll be priced affordably.
The last date to submit EoI applications through email is June 17. "The EoI submitted by industries will be scrutinised by a Technical Assessment Committee (TAC). Only up to 15 industries will be given ToT on their capabilities, technical handholding capability of DRDO and on First Come First Served Basis," a DRDO statement said.
The data obtained from clinical trial results show that the drug helps in faster recovery of patients admitted in hospitals and also reduces supplemental oxygen dependence. The results revealed a majority of patients treated with 2-DG showed RT-PCR negative conversion.
The bidders should have a drug licence to manufacture Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient (API) from Drug Licencing Authorities and WHO GMP (Good Manufacturing Practices) certification, among others.
The DRDO-developed 2 DG drug spreads through the body like glucose. It reaches the virus-infected cells and prevents virus growth by stopping viral synthesis and destroys the protein's energy production. The drug also works on virus infection spread into the lungs, which helps decrease patient's dependability on oxygen.
How was 2-DG developed? How were clinical trials conducted?
DRDO Project Director and Scientist of 2-DG, Dr Sudhir Chandana has said that when the pandemic hit India in April 2020, they discovered that 2-DG halts the spread of COVID-19 inside the body cells. "After the findings, we asked the DCGI for permission to conduct clinical trials," he said. In May 2020, the DRDO received permission to conduct the clinical trials. The phase 2 trials were concluded in October 2020.
The results showed that in terms of improvement of vital signs of COVID-19 symptomatic patients, there was a difference of 2.5 days compared to Standard of Care (SoC). Approval for Phase - III clinical trials were granted in November 2020. These were conducted in 27 COVID-19 hospitals spread across several states. "Clinical trial results have shown that this molecule helps in faster recovery of hospitalised patients and reduces supplemental oxygen dependence," an official DRDO statement had explained earlier.
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