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DRDO calls for EoI to transfer 2DG with more players


India’s state-owned defence giant Deference Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), which had developed an orally administered anti-viral and anti-inflammatory drug 2-deoxy-D-glucose (2DG) to fight against Covid-19 virus in moderate to severe patients, has invited expression of interest from Indian drug makers to transfer the technology for mass production.

Disclosing this on Tuesday evening, the DRDO chairman Dr G Satheesh Reddy said the EoIs were called from the interested Indian pharmaceutical companies for the technology transfer and production not just to meet the needs of patients in India but to meet the global needs.

“DRDO has already put out Expression of Interest for the industries to come forward and they will be able to supply to all the needy in the country and probably able to take it to the international markets,” said Satheesh Reddy. “I am sure many more industries will be able to come out and will be able to produce this (2DG).”

At present, Dr Reddy’s Laboratories has an agreement with DRDO to produce 2DG and is currently ramping up capacities while preparing to launch the product in the next few weeks before June-end, said Dr Reddy’s chief executive officer Deepak Sapra.

Interacting with the industry leaders and members of the Federation of Telangana Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FTCCI), Sapra said Dr Reddy’s currently has capacities to produce 2DG to meet the needs of tens of thousands of Covid-19 patients and is ramping up capacities to meet the needs of lakhs of patients over the next few weeks.

DRDO invited interest for technology transfer of 2DG from Indian pharmaceutical firms with drug license to manufacture active pharmaceutical ingredients (API), API production capability, Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) certification of World Health Organisation, and drug manufacturing facility consisting of in-house R&D for

.

Satheesh Reddy said DRDO has obtained on May 1 the emergency use authorisation from India’s drug regulator Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) for use of 2DG in moderate to severe Covid-19 patients. “There has been a lot of demand for 2DG from across the country,” he said, adding that the reports from across the country show that the patients using 2DG saw significantly low dependence on external oxygen support.

Deepak Sapra of Dr Reddy’s Laboratories said 2DG showed mixed results in very critical Covid-19 patients on ventilator and ECMO (extracorporeal membrane oxygenation) and that more evidence and data was being gathered.

“For us, the months of June and July are extremely important for this entire ramp up (of 2DG capacities) and for us to make this drug go the last mile and be available wherever it is required in India, to manage logistics and make sure whichever patient needs this medicine have access to this medicine,” said Sapra.



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