40 pharma companies interested in producing anti COVID-19 drug, DRDO tells Madras High Court
Madras High Court: The submission was made in response to a PIL petition complaining that DRDO had given a licence to Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories in Hyderabad alone for manufacturing the oral powder
The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) on Friday told the Madras High Court that it had invited Expression of Interest to produce its 2-deoxy-D-glucose (2-DG), an adjunct drug to treat COVID-19 patients, and so far 40 pharmaceutical companies had shown interest in manufacturing it.
Appearing before the second Division Bench of Justices N. Kirubakaran and T.V. Thamilselvi, Additional Solicitor General R. Sankaranarayanan said the DRDO was highly interested in ensuring that the drug, developed by its Institute of Nuclear Medicine and Allied Sciences, could be manufactured in as much quantity as possible within the shortest possible time.
The submission was made in response to a public interest litigation petition filed by private sector employee D. Saravanan of Chennai complaining that DRDO had given a licence to Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories in Hyderabad alone for manufacturing the oral powder at a cost of ₹990 for a sachet of 2.34g and not to any other pharma company in the country.
The ASG said the DRDO had fixed June 17 as the last date for submitting an Expression of Interest to manufacture the drug and that 40 companies had responded. After recording his submission, the judges reserved their verdict and asked the ASG to circulate all documents related to the case.
The court also took note of a submission made 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 at a cost of around ₹30,000. He said the doctor who treated the patient was also ready to vouch for its efficacy.