The first batch of DRDO-developed anti-Covid drug 2-DG (2-deoxy-D-glucose) was launched on Monday to treat patients suffering from the deadly disease. The medicine comes in powder form and can be taken with water.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Health Minister Harsh Vardhan released the first batch of the 2-DG, an anti-Covid-19 therapeutic application of the drug developed by the Institute of Nuclear Medicine and Allied Sciences (INMAS), a lab of Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) in collaboration with Dr Reddy's Laboratories (DRL).
Rajnath Singh handed over the anti-Covid drug to his cabinet colleague Harsh Vardhan who handed over it to Delhi All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) director Randeep Guleria at an event here.
The Defence Minister would be later distributing around 10,000 doses of the drug to a few hospitals in the national capital.
The Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) granted emergency use nod for the drug last week. The drug could be a game-changer in the battle against pandemic as it helps in faster recovery of hospitalised patients and reduces oxygen dependence.
Clinical trial results have shown that the drug helps in faster recovery of hospitalised patients and reduces supplemental oxygen dependence. Higher proportion of patients treated with 2-DG showed RT-PCR negative conversion in Covid patients.
The medicine was found to be safe for Covid-19 patients in phase 2 trials, conducted between May and October last year. It was found to be effective in cutting short the hospital stays of Covid patients and reducing their supplemental oxygen dependence.
During the first wave of the pandemic in April last year, INMAS-DRDO scientists conducted laboratory experiments with the help of Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB), Hyderabad, and found that this molecule works effectively against SARS-CoV-2 virus and inhibits the viral growth.
Based on these results, the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) permitted Phase-II clinical trial of 2- DG in Covid-19 patients in May 2020. The DRDO, along with its industry partner DRL, Hyderabad, started the clinical trials to test the safety and efficacy of the drug in Covid-19 patients.
In Phase-II trials (including dose ranging) conducted during May-October 2020, the drug was found to be safe in Covid-19 patients and showed significant improvement in their recovery. Phase-II was conducted in six hospitals and Phase IIb (dose ranging) clinical trial was conducted at 11 hospitals all over the country. Phase-II trial was conducted on 110 patients.
Rakul Preet Singh is gearing up for the release of her new film "Sardar Ka Grandson". The actress relates to Radha, her character in the film, saying she is a walking talking time table.
Rakul's character in the film is a very organised and level-headed person. Is the actress in real life somewhat like her on-screen avatar? "When (director) Kaashvi (Nair) narrated it to me and after she got to know me, she said Radha is Rakul! I am a little punctual about time and I have to do things right. I am a walking talking time table and I could relate a lot with Radha. So, I do agree to that part," Rakul told IANS.
"Sardar Ka Grandson" is the story of Amreek played by Arjun Kapoor, who wants to fulfil a wish of his grandmother, essayed by Neena Gupta.
The film is all set to release on Netflix on May 18.
"Bigg Boss 13" star and model Asim Riaz dropped his debut track as a rapper on the occasion of Eid on Friday. Titled "Back to start", Asim has written his debut song besides singing it.
Asim says he had the number with him since 2015 and wanted to polish it before putting it out there for listeners.
"We take a look around us and we see that everything is changing and so much of the good change is being embraced. I had 'Back to start' with me since 2015 and I wanted to polish it till I was ready to put it out there for the listeners," he said.
"I'm very pumped that its release. My wish for everybody this Eid is to have the strength to embrace changes and hustle their way forward," Asim added.
The rap number depicts his days of struggle, right from the start of his career and is released under Sony Music India.
Radhe: Your Most Wanted Bhai
Cast: Salman Khan, Disha Patani, Randeep Hooda, Jackie Shroff; Direction: Prabhudeva;
Smart villain is on a rampant spree hawking drugs, smarter cop hammers the hell out of his existence. That's it, that's the story.
You couldn't care less, of course if you are a Salman fan, you weren't logging in for the sake of story. You're in it to watch all that goes on in between, when the 'story' isn't interfering with what Salman Khan needs to do on screen to reaffirm his Bollywood superstardom.
A quick review of "Radhe " would be easy -- you know, the sort where you get over with it citing three things of note. The first is Salman Khan. The second is Salman Khan doing the thing/s he has done forever. And the third... well, there is no third thing of note in "Radhe".
The pertinent question that crops up here is one that you've often grappled with while watching such mindless, aimless fare that Bollywood routinely sells as 'entertainment': Does "Radhe" actually deserve/ demand/ merit a review?
While trying to answer that question would definitely throw open a wider discussion on sense and sensibility in commercial Hindi cinema, the moot point about "Radhe" is the film has neither of the two, and unapologetically so.
This is Salman's third film with Prabhudeva as director, after "Wanted" (2009) and "Dabangg 3" (2019). Those two films marked epochal moments in the actor's career. "Wanted" was the Eid release that would catapult him to the stature of Bollywood's top Khan of the 2010s, a year before the more-hyped "Dabangg" would establish him in that position. "Dabangg 3", a decade later, was the warning knell that even the hardcore Salman Khan fans were no longer in the mood to blindly applaud the trademark Salman Khan package.
Yet, the superstar and his chosen director have fallen back on the same bag of tricks in "Radhe", in a bid to garner instant 'seeti maar' reaction. Perhaps it would have worked if the film had a wide theatrical release.
The trouble is Salman has ended up serving a big movie that won't appear that big when watched on mobile and laptop screens. Robbed of his primary big-screen fan base, the superstar starts out at a point of disadvantage with "Radhe", trying to peddle larger-than-life masala to an audience that is more accustomed to content-driven fare and that often dismisses the "Radhe" brand of 'entertainment' as ludicrous.
The fact is of no help that AC Mugil and Vijay Maurya's writing makes it seem like the script lay in cold storage from around the time "Wanted" was emerging a blockbuster. Salman has by and large avoided mentioning "Wanted" while promoting "Radhe", though he should have -- it might have garnered some traction. Despite riding a lower budget and far less hype, his 2009 release was definitely higher on the entertainment quotient.
"Radhe" and its eponymous lead star appear worn-out in comparison from the word go. For the record, the film is officially inspired by the 2017 Korean film "The Outlaws" in content and execution. Director Prabhudeva wholly misses out on the edge and thriller quotient of that film in trying to set up a Salman Khan showcase.
For, the storytelling is more about making room for Salman Khan set pieces. There is a lot of action, and all of it is the same -- a battery of baddies being bashed up by Salman as the camera captures the stunts from sundry angles. There's the quota of 'naach-gaana' (Disha Patani seriously looks way too younger and fitter). There's Randeep Hooda as Rana the drug kingpin whose character sketch looks too absurd to be true, and Jackie Shroff trying to add a touch of humour to a mirthless script. There's also Jacqueline Fernandez's item number, too vanilla for impact despite the colourful razzmatazz that goes into its filming.
Technically speaking, "Radhe" is as lavish as Bollywood gets, which is a waste considering the initial impact of the big screen viewers' reaction will mostly be lost out in foreign cinemas. Ironically, though, despite snazzy camerawork, sound engineering and CGI effects, the overall package appears like you have seen it a zillion times before.
In the end, none of it would have mattered had Prabhudeva not misfired on packaging his hero right. The aging superstar does everything he has always done, but that's the problem -- he has always only done all that he does in "Radhe".
"Radhe" is among Salman Khan's weakest films ever. Thankfully for his fans, it's also his shortest film in a long time.
( Courtesy - IANS )
A team of US researchers has found that delaying the second dose of Covid-19 vaccines, at least for people aged under 65, could result in up to 20 per cent lower mortality, but only under certain conditions.
These conditions include a one dose vaccine effectiveness (efficacy) of 80 per cent or higher and vaccination rates of 0.1 per cent to 0.3 per cent of the population per day, according to the study, published by The BMJ.
If these conditions apply, the strategy could prevent between 47 and 26 deaths per 100,000 people, respectively, the study noted.
"Decision makers will need to consider their local vaccination rates and weigh the benefits of increasing these rates by delaying a second dose versus the risks associated with the remaining uncertainty in this strategy," write researchers including Thomas C. Kingsley, Assistant Professor of Medicine at Mayo Clinic, Minnesota.
"These decisions should continue to be re-evaluated as new data become available," the researchers added.
Both the Pfizer and Moderna covid-19 vaccines in a standard two dose schedule are highly effective at preventing symptomatic infections and death. But immunity worldwide remains low, partly owing to low vaccination rates.
The longer it takes to effectively vaccinate the global population, the greater the likely risk of vaccine resistant strains developing. This has led to calls to prioritise single dose vaccination for as many people as possible, even if this means delaying a second dose beyond the studied time frame.
"The justification for this relies on the assumption that meaningful protection against Covid-19 can be achieved after a single dose of vaccine, but this is the subject of intense debate," the team said.
To explore this further, they set out to measure the impact of delayed second dose vaccine policies on infections, hospital admissions, and deaths compared with the current on-schedule two dose regimen. Using a simulation model based on a "real-world" sample population of 100,000 US adults, the team ran a series of scenarios over a six-month period.
The results suggest that a delayed second dose strategy is optimal for vaccination rates at or lower than 0.3 per cent population per day if the vaccine efficacy from one dose is 80 per cent or greater.
Actress Priyanka Chopra Jonas shared that over 14,000 contributors have helped raise $1 million, to help India amid the second wave of Covid-19.
Priyanka shared a video on Instagram late on Wednesday night according to India time, featuring a world map and the countries from where donations have poured in to help India.
"Through some of the darkest days in our history, humanity has once again proven that we are better together. @nickjonas and I are so humbled by your support and by the outpouring of help for India from so many parts of the world," she wrote alongside the video.
Priyanka added: "Over 14,000 good Samaritans opened their hearts and helped us raise $1 Million in these trying times. Countless others helped us spread the world to expedite the process. All the money raised is already being deployed across the country in the form of Oxygen Concentrators, Vaccine Support and so much more."
Priyanka shared that the fundraising target is now $3 million.
"We can all continue to help so let's not stop here. We're raising the fundraising target to $3 Million and we know that with your help and support, we can achieve this too. Thank you all for your support and thank you @give_india for the incredible work you are doing on ground," the actress concluded.
Actress Urvashi Rautela, who has shot her debut international music album "Versace Baby" with Egyptian actor Mohamed Ramadan, says she has tried to add a lot of Bollywood elements to the song, and also tried to ensure an element of Indianness about it.
"I really can't wait for all of you guys to enjoy this and I have tried to add a lot of Bollywood elements to it, as I am a proud Indian. Whatever project I am a part of, I will always make sure it has a lot of Indianness. So, yes, you are going to see a lot of Bollywood in 'Versace Baby'," she said.
"It's very special and very close to my heart. My parents, family and friends are extremely overwhelmed and excited about it," she added.
She went on: "It's a huge honour for an Indian to be a part of this humungous international project, which is a music album called 'Versace Baby' and that too is backed up by the world's biggest brand 'Versace' itself." She added that they wore the brand from head to toe, from jewellery to shoes to the outfits and accessories, and they even shot in Versace house.
Urvashi says the album is her Eid present to all her Arab and international fans.
Telugu star Allu Arjun on Wednesday shared that he has tested negative for Covid-19 after 15 days of quarantine.
Arjun posted a note on Instagram that reads: "Hello everyone! I have tested negative after 15 days of quarantine. I want to thank all my well wishers and fans for their wishes and prayers."
The actor added: "Hoping this lockdown will help us in reducing cases. Be home and be safe. Thank you for all the Love."
He captioned the note with a black heart emoji.
Arjun had announced testing positive in a social media post on April 28.
He had tweeted: "Hello everyone, I have tested positive for Covid. I have isolated myself at home and have been following all the protocols. I request those who have come in contact with me to get tested.
"Stay home, stay safe and get vaccinated when you get the chance. I request all my well-wishers and fans not to worry about me as I am doing fine."
Hyderabad, May 12 (IANS) Pharma major Dr. Reddy's Laboratories Ltd on Wednesday announced that it has entered into a royalty-free, non-exclusive voluntary licensing agreement with Eli Lilly and Company for the manufacture and commercialization of baricitinib in India.
The drug baricitinib has received restricted emergency use approval from the Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO), Ministry of Health, India, for use in combination with remdesivir for the treatment of suspected or laboratory confirmed Covid-19 in hospitalized adults requiring supplemental oxygen, invasive mechanical ventilation, or extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO).
This partnership comes at a critical juncture in the fight against the pandemic in India and adds to the company's existing range of Covid-19 therapeutics covering the full spectrum from mild to moderate and severe conditions of the disease, and a vaccine, the Hyderabad-based company said.
"From the start, we have been determined to explore every possible avenue against COVID-19. Our collaboration with Lilly will help us make yet another treatment option available to patients in India," said Deepak Sapra, Chief Executive Officer, API and Services, Dr. Reddy's Laboratories.
In another development, Dr Reddy's announced the launch of Ertapenem for Injection, 1 g/vial, a therapeutic equivalent generic version of INVANZ(ertapenem for injection) for injection, 1 g/vial, approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (USFDA).
"We are pleased to bring this important product to market at this time," says Marc Kikuchi, CEO, North America Generics, Dr. Reddy's Laboratories. "We're excited to extend our strategic partnership with Gland Pharma whose hard work, in collaboration with the team at Dr. Reddy's, has enabled the execution of this launch."
"We are delighted about this collaboration, as it brings together Dr. Reddy's experienced marketing and distribution capabilities and Gland Pharma's robust development and manufacturing capabilities. Gland Pharma has an exclusive API supply arrangement for this product and a dedicated manufacturing facility in Hyderabad for Ertapenem Injection. With the launch of this product we see increased capacity utilization of this dedicated Penem facility," said Srinivas Sadu, MD and CEO of Gland Pharma Ltd.
Actor Anupam Kher says he is grateful to have his wife, actress Kirron Kher, and son Sikandar Kher by his side, as they give him honest feedback about his work.
"I am lucky to have my wife and my son who keep me grounded and tell me, ‘this was rubbish!' I have full faith in their criticism. I know they are doing so for my benefit," he told IANS.
The actor adds that the only thing that has helped him survive in the industry is the fact that he has never given up.
"If you are a trained actor, that training stays with you. More than that, personally, giving up is never an option. That is what keeps me going. My competition is with myself. I am a hard taskmaster and I am tough on myself," he says.
Kher adds that he keeps learning from everyone around him. "When I look around and I see other actors performing in movies, I say there is so much to do and learn. I am not happy with the laurels being bestowed upon me. I may lie to someone else but not to myself," he says.
Disha Patani is paired with Salman Khan in the upcoming action thriller "Radhe: Your Most Wanted Bhai", scheduled to drop digitally for pay-per-view watch on Eid. Disha, who has worked with Salman in the 2019 drama "Bharat" earlier, says it is always a pleasure seeing the superstar dance.
Their much-hyped dance number "Seeti maar" in the film has been well-received upon release, having garnered over 110 million views since it officially dropped on YouTube on April 26. If Disha has been appreciated for matching steps adeptly with the veteran superstar, she says it was the guidance she got from Salman as well as the film's director Prabhu Deva that helped.
"He (Salman) and Prabhu sir guided me. I am just following instructions in the song. He (Salman) adds that different charm. He has a different style of dancing. When he dances it's like no one is watching him. It's just fun to see him dance," she told IANS.
Ask her if she feels a Salman Khan film is already a success even before releases, and she replies: "I don't think about that too much. I am happy that I am part of such a great cast and film. I am happy that people are giving us good reactions for the trailer and song."
She adds: "I care a little bit until a point and (then I) don't overthink things. I am just happy. I feel like once I have shot for the film and given my best, my work is done. Then I just enjoy the ride."
She hopes that the audience enjoy the film: "It was a great experience I got to work with the biggest star of the country. I am excited, nervous, looking forward to the audience's reaction. I hope that they enjoy the film," she says.