Biotech CEO found dead inside sensory deprivation tank

Body of controversial entrepreneur Aaron Traywick discovered in Washington DC spa

Aaron Traywick
(Image credit: Facebook)

An eccentric biotech pioneer who once injected himself with an unapproved herpes treatment has been found dead inside a flotation tank.

The body of Aaron Traywick, CEO of Ascendance Biomedical, was discovered by employees at a Washington DC spa on Sunday night. Police said there was no evidence of foul play.

Ascendance staff told VICE News that the 28-year-old entrepreneur had been inside a sensory deprivation tank at the the time of his death. He had not been in touch with colleagues for around a month prior to his death, following “disagreements over the company’s direction and philosophical differences over how to best distribute its creations”.

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Traywick was a controversial figure in the rapidly developing world of biomedical technology.

His startup pioneered the concept of “biohacking” - conducting medical research and developing new treatments outside the conventional domain of pharmaceutical companies and federal regulators.

The firm attracted attention for its unconventional methods of promoting their experimental therapies.

In one notorious incident, “Traywick removed his trousers in front of an audience at a biohacking convention in Texas and injected his own thigh with a gene therapy intended to treat herpes”, says Science Alert.

Another Ascendance employee, Tristan Roberts, “injected himself with an experimental HIV treatment also supplied by the company, and streamed it all on Facebook Live”, Buzzfeed reports.

“While many in the biohacking scene disagreed with his methods, none of them doubted his intentions,” Roberts said in a statement following the news of Traywick’s death.

“He sought nothing short of a revolution in biomedicine; the democratisation of science and the opening of the flood gates for global healing.”

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