Company tests UV light treatment Trump was mocked for suggesting
By Jim Hagerty
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. – A pharmaceutical company is testing a coronavirus treatment that involves bringing ultraviolet light into the body.
“Healight” was announced by Aytu BioScience April 20, four days before President Donald Trump inquired whether ultraviolet light could be used inside the body and was mocked for it. The treatment involves the use of a catheter in the trachea.
Aytu BioScience has signed an exclusive licensing agreement with Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles to develop Healight.
“Our team has shown that administering a specific spectrum of UV-A light can eradicate viruses in infected human cells–including coronavirus–and bacteria in the area while preserving healthy cells,” Aytu BioScience Executive Director Dr. Mark Pimentel said.
At an April 24 White House press briefing, Trump inquired of a Department of Homeland Security biologist whether coronavirus treatments could be developed to kill the virus inside the body in the same manner in which disinfectants and UV light kill it on the outside.
“I see the disinfectant where it knocks it out in a minute,” Trump said. “One minute. And is there a way we can do something like that by injection inside or, or almost a cleaning?”
Trump then asked about UV light.
“I find (it) to be very interesting,” the president said. “So supposing we hit the body with a tremendous, whether it’s ultraviolet or just very powerful light. And I think you said that hasn’t been checked but you’re going to test it. And then I said, supposing you brought the light inside the body, which you can do either through the skin or in some other way. And I think you said you’re gonna test that, too.”
Within hours, the president was mocked on social media while reporters suggested he instructed people to ingest cleaning agents, like bleach, and use UV light to self-treat COVID-19, neither of which he did.
Meanwhile, Aytu BioScience and Cedars-Sinai is in talks with the FDA for an emergency approval. Dr. Ali Rezaie, one of Healight’s inventors, said research has shown the treatment has the potential to impact the high mortality rate for COVID patients with severe respiratory problems.
“We are looking forward to partnering with Aytu BioScience to move this technology forward for the benefit of patients all over the world,” Rezaie said.
A video explaining Healight’s tracheal procedure is on the company’s website.