New Delhi: A multi-insect repellent that
keeps Indian soldiers safe from mosquito
bites in far-flung interiors of Jammu and
Kashmir and the northeast is now commercially
available for the general public.
The product, a spin-off from military research,
was Monday launched here as a commercial
product by India s Defence Research and
Development Organisation (DRDO) in association
with private firm Jyothy Laboratories Limited.
Developed by the DRDO s Gwalior-based lab
Defence Research and Development Establishment
(DRDE), the multi-insect repellent is based
on the diethyl phenyl acetamide (Depa) formulation
and is meant primarily for Indian Army personnel
posted in forward areas.
"It is basically an outdoor insect-repellent
unlike several commercially available indoor
mosquito repellents. It is not meant to
kill the mosquito, but to keep it away from
the person using the repellent," C.K.Prahlada,
DRDO chief controller of research and development
(Aeronautics and Services Interactions),
said here at the launch function.
Jyothy Laboratories will market the repellent
in the form of a wet wipe, Maxo Safe and
Soft, priced at Rs.3 a pack and a cream,
Maxo Military, available for Rs.36. The
"A" grade mosquito repellent is said to
provide shield to the users for about six
to eight hours.
"These repellent wipes can be used
for personal protection against mosquitoes
and other blood-sucking insects. These repellent
wipes are first of their kind introduced
by any company into the market," Jyothy
Laboratories chairman and managing director
M.P. Ramchandran said.
Produced under licence from the DRDO, Jyothy
Laboratories obtained the permits for commercial
exploitation of the Depa formulation under
the DRDO-FICCI accelerated technology assessment
and commercialisation programme for utlising
the defence research spin-off for the benefit
of the commoner.
The DRDE, a World Health Organisation (WHO)-approved
lab, began research in 1983 to find a solution
to the problems faced by soldiers, who were
exposed to mosquitoes, leaches and other
blood-sucking insects in forest areas.
After two decades of research, the lab
developed the new molecule and after extensive
studies on toxicology, safety and bio-efficacy
fo Depa, it was introduced for soldiers
six years ago.
Though the DRDO repellent was the first
product to be commercially exploited for
civilian use, there were eight more research
productions ready for commercial use in
the near future, Prahlada said. Next to
be launched would be biodegredable plastic.
"Plastic is being slammed as non-degradable.
Our research has evolved a biodegradable
plastic, which will soon be available for
commercial use," he added.