2-Deoxy-D-Glucose – a simple anti-cancer drug is now being repurposed as adjunct therapy for emergency use in mild to moderate hospitalized Covid positive patients. Dr.Akshay Budhiraja, Pulmonologist at Aakash Healthcare, New Delhi who conducted the clinical trials said that this drug reduces the oxygen dependency by 42%, reduces the viral load and turned the Covid patient negative as early as 3 days and as late as 8 days. The three phases of clinical trials were conducted on a total of 380 patients of age group ranging from 18 to 65. Pregnant cases and patients with immune suppressant therapy were not included in the trial. Dr.Budhraja added that the drug also reduces the requirement of steroids.
We all know that Glucose provides the energy at the cellular level for growth. In the glucose molecule, when the 2 Hydroxyl Group is replaced by Hydrogen, this 2-Deoxy Glucose inhibits the Glucose-6-phosphate Isomerase and the Hexokinase enzymes in the Glycolysis pathway. It cannot undergo further glycolysis. This inhibits the energy production at the cell level and thus the virus can’t grow or replicate. It is reported that 2 DG does not target the tissues in the kidneys and liver. Thus the oxygen dependency is reduced.
Glucose analogue 2DG is available in sachets in powder from and is to be taken orally with water. This drug was developed by Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) at the Institute of Nuclear Medicine and Allied Sciences, New Delhi. It was then collaborated with Pharma giant Dr.Reddy’s Laboratories and Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology(CCMB), both based in Hyderabad.
The drug was launched by the Union Defense Minister and Health Minister today. We hope that the drug is equitably distributed to the patients who need it and help us to fight our war against Coronavirus.