New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: DRDO scientist Hemant Kumar Pandey on Saturday was conferred with the agency's 'Scientist of the Year Award' for his contribution in developing a herbal drug for leucoderma, an autoimmune disorder characterised by the loss of skin colour in parts of a body. 

Pandey, who heads the Herbal Medicine Division of DRDO's Defence Institute of Bio-energy Research (DIBER), was conferred with the prestigious award by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh at an event held in New Delhi, according to a report by Dainik Jagran.   A senior DRDO official told the newspaper that 'Lukoskin' has been developed using herbs found in the Himalayan region.

The drug, which is sold in the market by Emil Pharmaceuticals, offers a new hope to those suffering from leucoderma, also known as vitilago. Apart from Lukoskin, Dr, Pandey has developed six others medicines and herbal products. These include Ayurvedic medicines for itching and toothache. Most of these drug formulations have been transferred to private companies. The DRDO has received royalty of more than two crore thirty lakh rupees from the sale of this product. In addition to this, the agency has received more than fifty lakh rupees as royalty from the transfer agreement of other medicinal products from different companies.

An estimated four to five per cent of the Indian population suffers from leucoderma. The condition is characterised by patches of the skin losing their pigment. The condition is noticeable in people with dark skin. Prior to the development of Lukoskin, the available cures for the disease were either costly or had low efficacy.  

Posted By: Lakshay Raja