A drug to treat coronavirus patients, developed by the DRDO (Defence Research and Development Organisation), has been approved for emergency use by the country's top drugs controller as India battles the second wave of the pandemic that is killing thousands every day.
The drug comes in powder form in a sachet and is taken orally by dissolving it in water.
A DRDO lab and Hyderabad-based Dr Reddy's Laboratories developed the anti-Covid therapeutic application of the drug 2-deoxy-D-glucose (2-DG).
The Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) cleared the drug after clinical trial results showed that a molecule present in the drug helps in faster recovery of hospitalised patients and reduces supplemental oxygen dependence.
A higher proportion of patients treated with the drug tested negative for Covid in RT-PCR tests.
In the second phase of trials between May and October last year, the drug was found to be safe in COVID-19 patients and showed significant improvement in their recovery. The second round was conducted in 110 patients. While the third round of trials was conducted in six hospitals, "dose ranging" was conducted in 11 hospitals across India.
Massive international help has been pouring in as India reports shortage of essential drugs, medical oxygen and other supplies needed for Covid patients after the the sudden surge in COVID-19 cases crippled the country's healthcare system.
India on Saturday recorded 4,187 coronavirus deaths, the highest daily count so far, even as more and more states imposed lockdowns in a desperate bid to halt the devastating new surge. Over 4.01 lakh new infections pushed the total caseload to over 2.18 crore.