DRDO developing oxygen cylinders to meet COVID needs: Chairman

‘It has contributed 350 technologies to various sectors during the last one year’

July 30, 2021 07:21 am | Updated 07:21 am IST - VIJAYAWADA

The DRDO is planning to manufacture 2-DG drug in a massive way, says its Chairman G. Satheesh Reddy.

The DRDO is planning to manufacture 2-DG drug in a massive way, says its Chairman G. Satheesh Reddy.

The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) hit the headlines two months ago when the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) approved anti-COVID oral drug, 2-deoxy-D-glucose (2-DG), developed by it.

Having transferred many technologies to the industry sector in general and healthcare in particular during the pandemic, the DRDO has now geared up to supply small oxygen cylinders to the patients in the event of the third wave of coronavirus pandemic, apart from manufacturing 2-DG drug in a massive way.

Speaking to The Hindu , DRDO G. Satheesh Reddy says that the DRDO contributed 350 technologies to the industry during the last one year.

Of this, 190 were related to the COVID-19, while the rest were related to defence sector. Defence laboratories were opened for conducting tests, he says.

“Now, the DRDO is developing technologies to produce small oxygen cylinders in a massive way. Likewise, the technology for setting up of small wings at hospitals, supply of 2-DG medicine are being worked out. The medicine would be manufactured through pharma companies,” says Dr. Satheesh Reddy. The DRDO chief recalls that the experiments on the 2-DG began in 2001-02. Then the idea was to develop a therapeutic drug for radiation related effects.

The technology was transferred to the Dr. Reddy’s Labs around 2004. They have conducted a lot of trials since then, says Mr. Satheesh Reddy

“We thought that it would work for COVID-19 too. So we experimented and it proved that it was working very effectively against the coronavirus affected cells. Then, we went ahead,” he explains.

Dr. Satheesh Reddy says that the DRDO is working on clothing for low temperature environment for soldiers posted at higher altitudes.

Exports policy

Snow shoes, crevasse detection technologies, room heating elements, food heating, anti-frosting, anti-radiation creams are being developed for the soldiers, he says.

Referring to defence exports, Dr. Satheesh Reddy says lots of things have been simplified and new policies are being formulated to promote exports.

“Some work has been done. Some clearances are yet to be given,” he says while answering a question on the status of Missile Test Launch Facility at Nagayalanka.

“The Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) has approached us regarding the anti-drone system developed by the DRDO which is being used by the Tata, L&T and other clients. The TTD is buying the system,” says Dr. Satheesh Reddy, who was in the city to attend some programmes. Earlier in the day, he inspected the ongoing works at the Missile Test Launch Facility at Nagayalanka in Krishna district.

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