DRDO dismisses Patanjali’s claim on 2DG drug

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Patanjali has done nothing much, they did publish a paper but it was based on our study, DRDO said.

Gurugram: The Defense Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has said that Patanjali had nothing to do with the research of their new drug 2DG. This comes in response to Patanjali Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Acharya Balkrishna’s claim that the newly-launched drug had its origin in Ayurveda and was researched by Patanjali.

A source from DRDO said that the organisation has been researching the 2-DG molecule in their nuclear medicine lab in Delhi for several years now. “At first, we were using the drug for treating cancer and brain tumor patients, and it has had a positive effect. We have been researching on the molecule for 20-25 years, Patanjali has not contributed anything to it,” they said.

The Institute of Nuclear Medicine & Allied Sciences (INMAS), DRDO,  reacted to Patanjali’s claim and said that the paper Patanjali published is a hypothetical study.

“They did a simulation study which is a hypothetical-theoretical study. It has nothing to do with real-world analysis. Patanjali does not have experimental evidence that’s why their paper has not been peer-reviewed and accepted,” a source from INMAS, said.

INMAS said that they partnered with Dr. Reddy’s Lab to do the clinical trial of the drug. “If Patanjali is claiming that they did the research, then why didn’t they go ahead with the clinical trials as they did for Coronil?,” they asked.

The source said Patanjali works on ayurvedic drugs, while the drug in question is allopathic. They added that the organisation has been doing clinical trials with Dr. Reddy’s Lab since 2004 and has continued the partnership for the 2DG drug, too. “The moment we converted this molecule to use it for anti-SARS-COV2 activity, we immediately contacted Dr. Reddy ‘s Lab to do a clinical trial on covid patients and they agreed,” they said.

Sources say that Patanjali’s claim is backed by the fact that one of INMAS’s students is currently employed with Patanjali. They, however, said that the student had nothing much to do with the research. 

Former Director of INMAS Lab and co-author of the research paper on 2DG drug, Viney Jain, said the claim made by Patanjali is wrong. “In the research paper, an ex-INMASian who is currently a scientist with Patanjali had collaborated with INMAS. The paper is under publication and Patanjali has no contribution in it,” he said.

This controversy is the latest in line for Patanjali after Baba Ramdev said that “lakhs have died from taking allopathic medicines for COVID-19.” The Indian Medical Association (IMA) served a defamation notice to Ramdev asking Rs. 1,000 crore in damages or apologise in the next 15 days.