Rajnath terms DRDO’s anti-COVID drug ‘ray of hope’, says it exemplifies India’s scientific prowess DELHI: After releasing the first batch of anti-COVID drug 2-DG developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Monday termed the drug as a new ray of hope and said this is a great example of India’s scientific prowess. Singh along with Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan released the first batch of 2-DG today. “Prepared by DRDO and DRL, 2-deoxy-D-glucose (2-DG) will prove effective in drug covid. It is a great example of scientific progress. I believe the scientists of our country have the potential to tackle any drastic situation approaching our country,” he said. “This is a great example of the scientific prowess of our country,” he asserted. Speaking further at the event, the Defence Minister said: “About this drug, I would say that it is a new ray of hope. But right now, we do not need to be relaxed, nor do we need to get tired, and stop. Because this wave has come for the second time, and there is nothing definite about this even further. We have to take steps with full caution,” he added. An anti-COVID-19 therapeutic application of the drug 2-deoxy-D-glucose (2-DG) 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 (DRL), Hyderabad. Rajnath Singh also expressed his delight on the reintroduction of retired doctors back in the system, and said, “I am happy to say that the Medical Corps has also decided to reintroduce its retired doctors so that our health system can be strengthened further. I heartily commend such physicians who are joining this campaign even after their service.” He also emphasised that even after going through all difficulties, the country ensured that preparedness at the border does not have any impact and there is no shortage of enthusiasm forces anywhere. Pursuing Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call for preparedness against the pandemic, DRDO took the initiative of developing an anti-COVID therapeutic application of 2-DG. In April 2020, during the first wave of the pandemic, INMAS-DRDO scientists conducted laboratory experiments with the help of the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB), Hyderabad and found that this molecule works effectively against the SARS-CoV-2 virus and inhibits viral growth. The 2-DG drug comes in powder form in the sachet, which is taken orally by dissolving it in water. It accumulates in the virus-infected cells and prevents virus growth by stopping viral synthesis and energy production. Its selective accumulation in virally infected cells makes this drug unique.