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Aaron Traywick, the CEO of Ascendance Biomedical, was remembered for his motivation to succeed, and his desire to develop new treatments by pushing the boundaries of biotech R&D, following his death on Sunday at Washington D.C. spa. 

Traywick, 28 was pronounced dead at 11:31am after Washington D.C.’s Metropolitan Police Department found him in a spa room at Soulex Float Spa, in response to a 911 call of an unconscious man, reports GEN.

“Traywick’s body was taken to the OCME (Office of the Chief Medical Examiner) for an autopsy. The Metropolitan Police Department is conducting a death investigation,” explained police spokeswoman, Karimah Bilal. “At this point, we don’t have any evidence to suggest foul play.”

Traywick was a “biohacker” working outside the norms of life sciences research and development. He gained public attention on the final day of BDYHAX2018, “a celebration of human enhancement, transhumanism, and biohacking,” when he dropped his trousers and injected himself with his own developmental herpes simplex virus (HSV) treatment in front of a live audience. 

According to Ascendance’s website, the treatment was “a gene therapy-based catalyst for the immune system, designed to target, destroy, and protect against herpes types 1 and 2.”

Such a move was carried out following traditional approaches against HSV, that 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. 

Traywick has been autopsied, LasShon Beamon, noted a spokeswoman for OCME and the D.C. Department of Forensic Sciences. OCME closes 90% of its cases within 90 days.  

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