2-deoxy-D-glucose, Anti-COVID drug

Anti-COVID-19 therapeutic application of the drug 2-deoxy-D-glucose has been developed by the Institute of Nuclear Medicine and Allied Sciences (INMAS), a lab of Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), in collaboration with Dr Reddy’s Laboratories, Hyderabad. 

It was approved for emergency use as an adjunct therapy in moderate to severe COVID-19 patients by the Drugs Controller General of India on May 1.

The first batch of anti-COVID drug 2-DG will be used in a limited manner. It will be used in AIIMS, Armed Forces Hospitals, DRDO hospitals and any other places where the need arises. From June onwards it will be made available to all hospitals.

Clinical Researches

During the first wave of Covid in April 2020, DRDO scientists in INMAS conducted lab experiments in collaboration with centre for cellular and Molecular Biology in Hyderabad. In the experiment, they found the 2-DG molecule works better against the SARS-COV-2 virus and control its multiplication. DCGI gave permission to start Phase 2 clinical trial on COVID patients in May 2020.

The Phase 2 clinical trials were conducted from May to October 2020. During this period, scientists found that this Anti corona Drug is safe for COVID patients and also show significant recovery The DRDO selected six hospitals for Phase – II and 11 hospitals for Phase – IIb clinical trials across the nation.

After receiving positive response in this two trails, DCGI permitted Phase III trial for 2DG in Nov 2020, The Phase 3 clinical trial was conducted on 220 patients between December 2020 to March 2021,” These patients are from 27 Covid hospitals in Telangana, Rajasthan, WB,UP, Gujarat, Delhi, MH,TN and Karnataka. Majority of the patients showed improvement symptomatically and became free from supplemental oxygen dependence by Day 3.

How it works

The 2-deoxy-D-glucose (2-DG) comes in sachet in powder form and has to be taken orally by dissolving it in water. The drug accumulates in the virus-infected cells and prevents its growth by stopping viral synthesis and energy production. The USP of the drug is its selective accumulation in virally infected cells. 

In the ongoing second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, patients are facing severe oxygen dependency and need hospitalisation. In such a scenario, the anti-COVID drug is expected to save lives due to the mechanism of operation of the drug in infected cells, thereby reducing hospital stay of the COVID-19 infected patients


Dr Sudhir Chandna has said like glucose powder, this drug can be taken with water, twice a day. A Covid-19 patient may have to take this drug for five to seven days to get completely cured.

Side Effects

Clinical trials were done on all stages of Covid patients from Moderate to severe infection, No side effect were noticed.


INMAS scientist Dr Sudhir Chandna has said that the pricing will be determined by Dr Reddy’s laboratories, which is manufacturing the doses. Dr Mishra said the pricing will be done keeping affordability in mind.

Source: DRDO

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