Ultraviolet light has been used as a disinfectant in wastewater treatment, hospital rooms and other settings. It also has some medical treatment applications, such as the use of fluorescent lamps to administer controlled doses of UV light to skin lymphoma patients.
UV light works as a disinfectant because it can stop cells from reproducing. No microorganisms have shown immunity to UV light exposure at certain levels, according to the International Ultraviolet Association.
During the 23 April White House Coronavirus Task Force briefing, Bill Bryan, undersecretary for science and technology at the Department of Homeland Security, discussed a study regarding shortening the coronavirus’s lifespan through exposure to Sunlight and humidity.
President Trump talked about a potential treatment at that briefing, bringing a “very powerful light” inside the body to kill the virus. “The whole concept of the light, the way it kills it in 1 minute, that is pretty powerful,” he said.
A Colorado biotech company, Aytu BioScience (NASDAQ:AYTU) is promoting the light technology as “a potential 1st-in-class COVID-19 treatment.” Aytu is refering the credibility of the approach on the respected medical institution where it was developed: Cedars-Sinai Medical Center of Los Angeles, 1 of the nation’s most respected nonprofit hospitals.
C-S in 1 of its few public statements about the technology, Cedars pointed out that it’s in “the pre-clinical stages” and “has not been tested or used on patients.”
Cedars refuses to make public laboratory data it says might validate claims that the technology would act against the C-19 coronavirus, stating that a paper with the data is still under consideration by more than 1 peer-reviewed scientific journal.
Waiting until the paper is published “reflects the common process used by academic medical centers and other research institutions to advance their science,” Cedars spokesman said.
At issue is a device Aytu calls the Healight, a flexible catheter equipped with LEDs emitting UVA rays. The goal is to thread the catheter into the trachea of the sickest C-19 coronavirus patients, those undergoing oxygen ventilation and blast infected cells with the virus-killing UV light.
The technology was developed at Cedars’ Medically Associated Science and Technology Program, or MAST. Cedars licensed it to Aytu in a deal disclosed in April.
An Aytu press release stated, “Our team has shown that administering a specific spectrum of UVA light can eradicate viruses in infected human cells (including coronavirus) and bacteria in the area while preserving healthy cells.”
Aytu announced the licensing deal with Cedars on 20 April that claimed during a conference call that the Healight showed “demonstrated effectiveness” against the coronavirus.
Then 2 days later, President Trump mentioned the UV light technology at his press briefing, and the UV light craze was on.
Have a healthy Memorial Day weekend, Keep the Faith!