Aaron Traywick, a biohacker who once injected himself with an untested herpes therapy on a crusade to expand access to medications, was found dead on Sunday morning in Washington DC, police confirmed to BuzzFeed News. He was 28 years old.
Traywick and Ascendance reasoned that traditional approaches against HSV had largely been ineffective despite three decades of ongoing research, and that use of a live but modified virus could be administered as a functional cure and vaccine for the disease.
Ascendance Biomedical rose to prominence thanks in part to its workers' willingness to publicly experiment on themselves.
Traywick garnered headlines from around the world when he appeared on stage at the BodyHacking Con in Austin, Texas in February, dropped his trousers in front of everyone, and injected himself with what he said was a vaccine for herpes.
Roberts took a different tone after learning of Traywick's death from a family member, VICE reports.
Both radical stunts drew crowds on Facebook Live and made headlines around the world.
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His colleague Tristan Roberts said staff at the floating spa had described him as being "sluggish" before they found him face down. "Consumers are cautioned to make sure that any gene therapy they are considering has either been approved by FDA or is being studied under appropriate regulatory oversight".
Roberts said while many in the biohacking industry disagreed with Traywick's methods, none of them ever doubted his intentions. "He sought nothing in need of a revolution in biomedicine; the democratization of science and the opening of the flood gates for worldwide therapeutic".
Yet Traywick worked around federal laws concerning the testing of vaccinations by testing them on himself, making it hard for the FDA to interfere.
Andreas Stuermer, another employee at the biotech company, told VICE that there had also been disagreements about the company's future. "We all lost touch with him". "It was more than four weeks ago". "He was keen to go the place a number of individuals had been afraid to go", Stuermer mentioned.
According to Vice, the Metropolitan Police Department in D.C.is now investigating Traywick's death, but the agency doesn't have any evidence to suggest foul play.