40 pharma firms interested in producing anti COVID drug 2-DG: DRDO tells Madras HC
Chennai: The Madras High Court was told by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) on Friday that 40 pharmaceutical firms had shown interest in manufacturing 2-deoxy-D-Glucose (2-DG) an adjunct drug used in COVID-19 treatment.
This comes in response to a Public Interest Litigation filed by D. Saravanan, a Chennai citizen, who claimed that the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) had granted a licence to Dr Reddy's Laboratories in Hyderabad alone to manufacture the oral powder at a cost of Rs 990 for a 2.34-gram sachet.
The anti-COVID-19 therapeutic application of 2-DG has been developed by the Institute of Nuclear Medicine and Allied Sciences (INMAS), a leading laboratory of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), in collaboration with Hyderabad-based Dr Reddy''s Laboratories.
The petitioner complained that DRDO had given licence to Dr Reddys Laboratories in Hyderabad alone for producing the oral powder at a cost of Rs 990 per sachet of 2.34 grams and not to any other pharma company in the country.
Additional Solicitor General R Sankaranarayanan appearing for DRDO made the submission before the second bench of Justices N Kirubakaran and T V Tamilselvi.
Sankaranarayanan said DRDO had invited Expression of Interest to produce the drug and so far 40 pharmaceutical companies had shown interest. The DRDO was highly capable of ensuring that the drug is manufactured in large quantities within the shortest possible time. It had fixed June 17 as the last date for submitting an Expression of Interest to manufacture the drug and 40 companies had responded.
The court took note of a submission by a litigant that the DRDO''s drug was very effective and that a woman COVID-19 patient, with comorbidities had a "magical cure" after being administered with 30 sachets of the drug. He said the doctor who treated the patient was also ready to vouch for its efficacy and the bench recorded its appreciation to the doctor concerned.
As per a recent PTI report, the judges reserved their verdict after attentively hearing arguments and instructed the ASG to circulate all relevant documents regarding the case.