A new herbal drug developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) for treating leucoderma, a skin condition in which white patches develop on the skin, is all set to enter the market soon providing relief to thousands of people suffering from the disease.

The disease, also called ‘vitiligo’, can be life-altering and due to the condition, some people develop low self-esteem and severe depression, an observation which prompted Hemant Pandey, a senior DRDO scientist to work on an advanced version of Lukoskin drug for better results. There are various remedies of vitiligo, like allopathic, surgical and adjunctive available at present, but none of the therapies has satisfactorily cured this disease, he said.

The drug was approved by the Narendra Modi government last month (May 2019). Pandey was also awarded “Science Award” for developing the drug ‘lukoskin’.”Drugs available in the market for treating vitiligo are either costly or single molecule based with a very low level of efficacy and develop side-effects like blister, oedema and irritation in the skin with most of the patients discontinuing the treatment,” said Pandey.

As the world marked June 25 as International Vitiligo Day, Pandey, who heads the Herbal Medicine Division of DRDO’s Defence Institute of Bio-energy Research (DIBER) at Pithoragarh, talked about Lukoskin marketed by Delhi-based AIMIL Pharma Ltd.