Aaron Traywick, CEO of Ascendance Biomedical, was found dead in Washington, D.C. The 28-year-old’s body was inside a “sensory deprivation” floatation tank on Sunday morning, according to a recent News2Share report.
D.C.’s Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) does not suspect any foul play, yet they are still investigating the circumstances that led to Traywick’s death. Authorities have not released any additional details except that the young entrepreneur was found “face down.”
“At approximately 11:31 am on April 29, 2018, Aaron Traywick, 28, was found deceased in a spa room in the 1000 block of Massachusetts Ave, NW,” the MPD report reads. “Traywick’s body was taken to the OCME for an autopsy. The Metropolitan Police Department is conducting a death investigation. At this point, we don’t have any evidence to suggest foul play.”
Per a Live Science report, Traywick made headlines in February when he injected himself with an untested “DIY” herpes treatment in front of a live audience. In a previous live demonstration late last year, the self-proclaimed biohacker had an HIV patient named Tristan Robert, also an employee of Ascendance, inject himself with a potential HIV treatment, which was also untested.
— Wired Focus (@Wiredfocus) May 1, 2018
Just after the HIV treatment demonstration, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) was quick to send Traywick an advisory about the dangers of using untested therapies. Specifically, the agency pointed out that the sale of “DIY” self-administration disease treatment kits was illegal. Nonetheless, Traywick did not get into any legal trouble since he was not actually selling the treatment.
Traywick firmly believed the current health care incentive system was set up to keep people sick, “but not sick enough that they’ll die.” He envisioned a system where the incentive was to cure patients of disease, not just diagnose and treat symptoms.
“There is no incentive structure set up for cures,” he once said. “If you cure a disease, the government will not pay a company for the number of healthy years of life that have been given to that person.”
Aaron Traywick, the boundary-pushing biohacker who once injected himself with a non-tested herpes therapy, was found dead in a sensory deprivation tank.https://t.co/If3l2uWf0z
— Stephanie M. Lee (@stephaniemlee) May 1, 2018
Just weeks before Traywick’s death on Sunday, the CEO distanced himself from Ascendance as disagreements with colleagues arose over the direction of the company.
“We all lost touch with him. It was radio silence,” company researcher Andreas Stuermer told Vice News. “It was more than four weeks ago.”
Prior to starting Ascendance Biomedical, Aaron Traywick graduated from the University of Montevallo in Alabama. He earned a bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies but had no previous medical training before starting the controversial biomedical company.