UV Light To Be Used as Disinfectant in Treating COVID-19 Patients
Aytu Bioscience Inc. received a boost on Thursday when President Trump alluded to the company’s Healight technology during the White House coronavirus task force’s daily televised briefing.
In after-hours trading, Aytu (NASDAQ: AYTU) jumped more than 8 percent in value, even as mainstream media derided the president’s musings that UV light could be used in the treatment of COVID-19.
For centuries, light has been known to be a natural disinfectant. The direct use of ultraviolet light on patients, however, has been complicated by the fact that UV light can also be destructive. That has been the dilemma dealt with by sunscreen developers in recent years.
At Cedars-Sinai in Los Angeles, Dr. Mark Pimentel and his team developed a specific technology for filtering out the dangerous component of UV light, while maintaining the rays’ effect of killing bacteria and viruses.
On Monday, AYTU announced the signing of an exclusive global license with Cedars-Sinai for this potential coronavirus treatment.
Mark Pimentel finished medical school, internship, and residency at the University of Manitoba in 1992, 1993 and 1996, respectively. He completed his fellowship at Cedars-Sinai in 1999. His specialty and board certification is in gastroenterology.
Pivot. Our team has spent the last 6 weeks, 16 hours a day, 7 days a week working on #COVID. We have developed a device to kill coronavirus with @MASTprogram @cedarssinai hoping to bring to humans in weeks with help of @SterlingMedDev and @BioscienceAytu. https://t.co/uUgOaTCTKD
— Mark Pimentel MD (@MarkPimentelMD) April 20, 2020
Can ultraviolet light be used to treat COVID-19 patients?
It has long been known that ultraviolet (UV) light kills viruses and bacteria.
The problem is that unfiltered UV light is dangerous to humans and human cells.
By filtering out the dangerous UVC light — and leaving UVA light — this becomes safe for human use.
It’s been proven in laboratories that at the right wattage and duration, UVA light is still effective at killing various bacteria and viruses — including the coronavirus.
Using this premise, the Healight was developed at Cedars-Sinai.
The Healight is a catheter embedded with small LED lights that emit UVA light in a specific way.
Healight is inserted into the breathing tube of an intubated patient.
The UVA light kills a wide variety of viruses and bacteria.
Peer-reviewed data from the research study is expected to be published soon. The Medically Associated Science and Technology (MAST) program at Cedars-Sinai is focused on the development of novel drugs and devices to diagnose and treat patients.
UPDATE 2021: As part of a registered clinical trial, an instructional video on details of how the device is to be safely used has been released. https://cedars.app.box.com/s/0lqm2slw1vlyt4j5em70xregfro4592t