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DRDO invites applications from pharma companies for tech transfer of COVID drug 2-DG

DRDO has given time till June 17 for manufacturers to submit EoI. DRDO set a ToT fee of Rs 25 Lakhs.

June 09, 2021 / 02:22 PM IST
The DCGI has granted permission for the emergency use of 2-DG drug as an adjunct therapy in moderate to severe COVID-19 patients. (Image: Screenshot/@rajnathsingh)

The DCGI has granted permission for the emergency use of 2-DG drug as an adjunct therapy in moderate to severe COVID-19 patients. (Image: Screenshot/@rajnathsingh)

 
 
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The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has called for expression of interest (EoI) from drug manufacturers for transfer of technology (ToT) related to COVID-19 medication 2-DG (2-Deoxy-d-glucose).

DRDO has given manufacturers time till June 17 to submit EoI. DRDO set a ToT fee of Rs 25 Lakhs.

"The EoI submitted by industries will be scrutinised by a Technical Assessment Committee (TAC). Only up to 15 industries will be given ToT on their capabilities, technical handholding capability of DRDO and on 'First Come First Served Basis'," DRDO said.

For ToT, DRDO has laid out conditions like having a drug licence to manufacture Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient (API) from Drug Licensing Authorities, API production capability, WHO GMP (Good Manufacturing Practices) certification, among others.

"Laboratory synthesis process for 2-DG has been developed using D-Glucose as starting material. The synthesis process consists of conversion of D-Glucose to 2-DG through five chemical reaction steps followed by purification. The process has been established at batch scale (100g) and pilot plant scale (500g). Necessary patents have been filled by DRDO in this regard. It is proposed to offer Transfer of Technology (ToT) of 2-DG to Indian Pharmaceutical industries for production," DRDO said.

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COVID-19 Vaccine

Frequently Asked Questions

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How does a vaccine work?

A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.

How many types of vaccines are there?

There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.

What does it take to develop a vaccine of this kind?

Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.

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The 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). Dr Reddy’s is currently manufacturing the drug.

The price of the single 2-DG sachet has been fixed at Rs 990.
Viswanath Pilla is a business journalist with 14 years of reporting experience. Based in Mumbai, Pilla covers pharma, healthcare and infrastructure sectors for Moneycontrol.
first published: Jun 9, 2021 02:22 pm

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