COVID-19 Industry

“Supposing you brought the light inside the body”

Another instalment of grifting quackery in COVID-19 pandemic. Cedars-Sinai scientists and their biotech partners Aytu Biosciences want to light you up from inside, just as President Trump suggested.

So supposing we hit the body with a tremendous, whether it’s ultraviolet or just very powerful light. […] 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.

Donald J Trump, 45th President of the United States of America

This article is available as podcast, read by Atro Tossavainen

On 23 April 2020, the US President Donald Trump delivered more medical insights on how to treat and prevent COVID-19, during a White House pandemic task force briefing. After having previously endorsed the malaria medicine chloroquine, the presidential advice now offered to use bleach and other highly toxic disinfectants for internal therapy against virus infection. That Trump later explained to have been a joke, misinterpreted by the lying press. Some Americans took it seriously anyway and did as told.

The other approach which apparently remains viable, would be to illuminate the body with UV light, from the inside. These are the kakistocratic times we live in, but if you think there is no science behind Trump’s teachings: WAIT!

The “light inside the body” therapy against COVID-19 is exactly what the US startup Aytu Biosciences offers to do for you, in collaboration with the research hospital Cedars-Sinai in Los Angeles. Their scientists already developed a UV light rod to shove up your bottom in order to treat bacterial infections in the intestine, only that nobody was interested to buy it until now. Or to invest. Even Aytu’s COVID-19 antibody test kit was not really desired. But the bizarre offer of curing COVID-19 by shining light up the arse, that has made it.

The company’s stock which rightly fell to near-worthless, now gained manifold in value and made some people lots of money.

The question is now: did the company readily re-purpose their product after Trump’s unreal press conference? Or did Trump intentionally advertise for Aytu’s business, for some reason?

This was what Trump said, verbatim:

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 suppose 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 going to test that, too. Sounds interesting.

Then I see the disinfectant where it knocks it out in a minute, one minute. Is there a way we can do something like that by injection inside? Or almost a cleaning, ‘cause you see it gets in the lungs and it does a tremendous number on the lungs. So it’d be interesting to check that. So you’re going to have to use medical doctors but it sounds interesting to me, so we’ll see but the whole concept of the light. The way it kills it in one minute, that’s pretty powerful.

Aytu’s product is the so-called Healight. It is an LED catheter emitting UV-A light; before the coronavirus pandemic came along as a business opportunity, it was supposed to go into the anus. There, it would kill the bad bacteria, the proof of concept is ascertained according to the company by the fact that they submitted an abstract at a conference:

An abstract led by the team at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center was published in the United European Gastroenterology Journal, October 2019, titled “Internally Applied Ultraviolet Light as a Novel Approach for Effective and Safe Anti-Microbial Treatment.” Here, the authors show that UVA light exhibits significant in vitro bactericidal effects in an array of clinically important bacteria. Additionally, this is the first study using intracolonic UVA application, which reports that UVA exposure is not associated with endoscopic or histologic injury. These findings suggest that UVA therapy can potentially provide a safe and effective novel approach to antimicrobial treatment via phototherapy on internal organs.

So, now that we assumed that UV-A light kills bacteria on a dry surface, we assume it does exactly same and just as efficiently in vivo, without damaging the host. Having assumed that, we can proceed by assuming that the Healight rod also kills viruses because both bacteria and viruses are microorganisms, so there. Right? All you need to do now is to pull the Healight rod out of your bum and shove it down your throat. Maybe wash it in between.

Aytu proposes in their commercial video to push it into the trachea of COVID-19 patients under mechanical ventilation, where Healight will illuminate the lungs and destroy all the viruses. Just as President Trump said it would.

Normally this grifting idiocy would not be taken seriously by anyone. Because peddling fake cures for COVID-19 is also dangerous, first YouTube and then Vimeo deleted the Aytu video; Twitter suspended their account (which was later however restored).

But in this case, there are some US professors behind the invention, which lends credibility where there should be none. The company is owned by two entrepreneur brothers, Josh and Jarrett Disbrow, but their inventors and directors are four Cedars-Sinai professors of gastroenterology, who developed this, shall we say, bottom-up approach.

The four quacks who should be first to feel the power of the light inside, are: Mark Pimentel, Ruchi Mathur, Gil Melmed and Ali Rezaie. In a press release, Pimentel declared:

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

In same press release and a newspaper article, Rezaie was quoted with this:

Our lab at Cedars-Sinai has extensively studied the effects of this unique technology on bacteria and viruses. Based on our findings we believe this therapeutic approach has the potential to significantly impact the high morbidity and mortality of coronavirus-infected patients and patients infected with other respiratory pathogens. We are looking forward to partnering with Aytu BioScience to move this technology forward for the benefit of patients all over the world.

How can we not trust these American scientists and doctors, especially if their only wish is to help COVID-19 sufferers. It seems, the Aytu quackery is not the private commercial side-activity of these 4 professors, but a proper partnership of Cedars-Sinai, just as Aytu press releases insist. Politico reported in this regard:

“In a statement, a spokesperson for Cedars-Sinai said the technology was in the preclinical phase: “The technology has not been tested or used on patients.””

Incidentally, former member of the Board of Governors at Cedars-Sinai is Steven Mnuchin, now Trump’s Secretary of Treasury. For now, Trump-supporting media is mostly silent about the healing light cure (except of the fascists of Breitbart and the like). Maybe all this is too stupid even for them?


Today’s announcements. A manufacturer for the magic UV lightning rod has been found: Sterling Medical Devices. Company’s president Dan Sterling is quoted:

Sterling has been working with the Cedars-Sinai team for the past several weeks on a very accelerated schedule to develop this much needed device

Cedars-Sinai issued this press release:

“A Cedars-Sinai research team is in the pre-clinical stages of developing a technology that harnesses intermittent ultraviolet (UV) A light for treating viruses and bacteria. The technology has not been tested or used on patients. Cedars-Sinai has filed for patents related to the technology and has signed a licensing agreement with Aytu BioScience with the aim of potentially enabling near-term use as a COVID-19 intervention for critically ill, intubated patients.”

It now also becomes clear why the sudden creative repurposing of the illuminated anal probe by Aytu. The company is namely being investigated by its own investors, over the aforementioned COVID-19 antibody blood test. A law firm issued this press release:

Glancy Prongay & Murray LLP (“GPM”), a leading national shareholder rights law firm, today announced that it has commenced an investigation on behalf Aytu BioScience, Inc. (“Aytu” or the Company”) (NASDAQ: AYTU)  investors concerning the Company and its officers’ possible violations of the federal securities laws.   

[…] On March 10, 2020, Aytu reported that it reached a license agreement for the exclusive distribution of a point-of-care rapid test for certain COVID-19 antibodies in the U.S. for three years, with three year auto-renewals moving forward.

Then, on April 17, 2020, pre-market, NBC News issued a report entitled “Unapproved Chinese coronavirus antibody tests being used in at least 2 states.” [link here, -LS] Citing health officials and U.S. Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) filings, the article stated that the Company has been distributing unreliable COVID-19 tests from unapproved Chinese manufacturers, which were shipped to the U.S. after the FDA relaxed its guidelines for tests in mid-March.  

On this news, the Company’s share price fell $0.12 per share, or 8%, to close at $1.38 per share on April 17, 2020, thereby injuring investors.

Whistleblower Notice: Persons with non-public information regarding Aytu should consider their options to aid the investigation or take advantage of the SEC Whistleblower Program.

Update 31.10.2020

A clinical trial with five COVID-19 patients on mechanical ventilation with the Aytu UV-A technology began at the Samuel Oschin Comprehensive Cancer Center at Cedars-Sinai, titled:

“Respiratory application of a novel ultraviolet light delivery device for patients infected with COVID-19: A Pilot Study”

The trial’s principal investigator is the pulmonologist George Chaux, Medical Director of the Lung Transplant Program at the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. The identifier is: NCT04572399, the intervention is: “Endotracheal UV Light“, “administered while patient is mechanically ventilated“. The trial declares “Device Product Not Approved or Cleared by U.S. FDA“. Trial sponsors listed are:

  • Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
  • Aytu BioScience, Inc.

I am informed that the trial has already started and patients are being treated.

Update 9.03.2021

And the results of 5 ventilated patients are in, as preprint!

Ali Rezaie, Gil Y Melmed, Gabriela Leite, Ruchi Mathur, Will Takakura, Isabel Pedraza, Michael Lewis, Rekha Murthy, George Chaux, Mark Pimentel Endotracheal application of ultraviolet A light in critically ill severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 patients: A first-in-human study medRxiv (2021) doi: 10.1101/2021.03.05.21252997

One subject died 17 days after enrollment due to intracranial hemorrhagic complications of anticoagulation while receiving extracorporeal membrane oxygenation. The remaining subjects clinically improved and scored 2, 4, 5, and 7 on the WHO scale at day 30.

WHO scale 7 is just above 8 (death, patient 1) and means ventilation or ECMO. Scale 5 means oxygen supplementation.


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60 comments on ““Supposing you brought the light inside the body”

  1. egle krosniunas

    Leonid, Your reporting is excellent Your command of English is outstanding..too. And I love your wit and irreverence.

    Liked by 1 person

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    • Vytautas

      Somehow I think the actual medical experts at Cedars-Sinai are a better judge of the potential benefit of this than you.
      After all, all you’ve offered are snarky comments.

      Liked by 3 people

      • Now that you mention it. Cedars-Sinai experts just injected 6 patients with some bullshit cell cure, with 20 more lined up next.

        “– Capricor Therapeutics (“Capricor”) (NASDAQ: CAPR) a clinical-stage biotechnology company focused on the development of first-in-class biological therapeutics for the treatment and prevention of diseases, announced today new data reporting 100 percent survival in critical COVID-19 patients who were treated with Capricor’s lead asset, off-the-shelf (“allogeneic”) cardiac cell therapy CAP-1002, at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center as part of six compassionate care cases.

        Over the course of one month, six critically ill COVID-19 patients, all suffering from acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) and five of whom were on mechanical ventilatory support, were safely treated with CAP-1002. Of the six patients treated, four of them have been discharged. Following a review of the available data, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the Company’s expanded access protocol to treat up to 20 additional COVID-19 patients. There is also a randomized, placebo-controlled trial planned to treat patients with moderate and severe disease which is intended to be funded by non-equity capital.”


  3. John Charger

    Do you learn science from YouTube, Twitter, and Vimeo? That’s pretty “quacky” that you support Silicon Valley corporations who create censoring policies on a whim over four MDs just trying to serve their Hippocratic oath.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I don’t think the Hippocratic oath is even in these “medical doctor’s” minds. They hope to make a shit load of money by selling this worthless technology to a larger company, no different that, say, David Sinclair selling his BS pharmacopeia to GSK.


    • Tammy Clement

      This censorship actually leads people to distrust the naysayers. It’s quite an eye opener to see the level of manipulation that the public is subjected to. They make jokes, but become the joke.


  4. Smut Clyde

    Even before the COVID-test bubble burst, Aytu Biosciences,were not well-regarded in the marketplace. I found this prescient columnist advising readers that Aytu stocks were over-valued (on the basis of the COVID-testing scam) and best sold quickly:

    The columnist praised Aytu for the success of their “Corona-portunism”, but questioned their long-term viability as a purely marketing operation (buying the rights to niche pharmaceutical products and trying to resell them with a margin), with no biomedical expertise of their own. There are veiled hints that the structure of the company is so convoluted that any long-term investors are likely to get ripped off.


    • Smut Clyde

      “Aytu has limited special knowledge or knowhow in diagnostic testing; it has licensed the COVID-19 test from a third-party manufacturer and is merely its U.S. distributor. Its only other such product is a medical device aide for diagnosis of male infertility that is not yet FDA approved for sale in the U.S.
      Aytu has loudly announced progress on sourcing and receiving its diagnostic tests; information on sales and order backlog is less clear.
      Aytu has a history of poor stewardship of shareholder assets and a legacy portfolio of (in my view) mediocre products.
      Aytu’s tangled cap structure reflects a tendency to dilute shareholders via obscure transactions.”


  5. Smut Clyde

    it was supposed to go into the anus

    I looked at the patent. The Cedars-Sinai doctors did envisage sticking the LEDs down one’s throat as well, to blast the esophagus and stomach:

    7. Treating refractory Helicobacter pylori and MALT lymphoma
    8. Treatment of esophageal lichen planus and pemphigus vulgaris
    9. Treatment of refractory Clostridium Difficile

    11. Treatment of Barrett’s esophagus with or without dysplasia

    They even imagined sticking the damn things into a patient’s spinal cord or skull:

    1. Intrathecal fibro-optic delivery of UV light in treatment of refractory meningitis.
    2. Treatment of refractory shunt infections.
    3. Treatment of prion diseases with intrathecal or subarachnoid UV therapy. 4—Treating JC virus related Progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy by decreasing viral load.

    The thought of sticking one down the windpipe into the lungs, though, that was too stupid and crazy even for these dudes. It took the marketing wizards to come up with that, in their desperation for some scam to peddle after their COVID-test bubble burst.

    The patent is unintentionally informative. They think that UV-A and UV-B light will kill yeast infections as easily as it will kill bacteria, because “microorganisms such as bacteria, archaea, fungi, yeast and viruses” are haploid. Evidently the educational requirements for Cedars-Sinai scientists do not include microbiology.


    • Smut Clyde

      “UV light is even capable of stopping the disease process in prion-related diseases that currently has no cure.”


    • I agree that it’s crazy, but they ARE talking about putting it down a breathing tube into the lungs. The good thing is this had never been tested on a human, has no FDA approval, and has had no trial cases on humans. I truly hope it stays that way and doesn’t get rushed into FDA approval with no tests. This is crazy.

      Liked by 1 person

    • 4TimesAYear

      Thre are other ways to do it. They were using it nearly 100 years ago to successfully treat diseases. Look it up.


  6. Smut Clyde

    Their promotional CGI cartoon is scaring me.

    “Where in the human body is the larynx supposed to fit?”
    “Oh, you know, right at the back of the tongue.”
    “Lungs are part of shoulder anatomy, aren’t they?”
    “Yeah, near enough.”


    • Vytautas

      All you offer is ranting and snarky comments, but nothing to substantiate your attack against the technique.
      I somehow suspect the experts at Cedars-Sinai know more about the science involved here than you.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Julia Titus-Ball

        Vytautas, It has never been used on a human. There is no technique. It hasn’t been approved by the FDA, has had no clinical trials on humans, in fact it’s never been used on a human. No one can say it’s a great product until it’s had tests. Preferably double blind tests. It needs to be tested on animals first, to see if there are adverse reactions. If things go the way they are supposed to, it will not get FDA approval for years. We don’t want to start using a product that we don’t know if they cause cancer, injure lungs, or butts, since that is what it was developed for. Stop trying to say it’s some great product when it hasn’t been tested.


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  8. We will see, won’t we. Of course, to me you look and talk like the perfect trumphating reporter. No basis whatsoever. But of course you know the science behind it all. Did you know they enter your bloodvessels through your groin and get into the heart? In some cases even a camera is possible? Why wouldn’t it be possible to enter the lungs through a breating device, which they stick into you without any problem? Is it that hard to imagine? But unless you give scientific credence to your claims instead of attacking them, you are the quack to me.


    • Perhaps because terminal bronchioles are under 1 mm thick, unlike main blood vessels. Plus there is a lot of them. Even if you could get an UV light source into terminal bronchiole, imagine getting it into every one of them.


    • Smut Clyde

      Why wouldn’t it be possible to enter the lungs through a breating device, which they stick into you without any problem? Is it that hard to imagine?

      Why yes, it is possible to slide one of Aytu’s LED suppositories down an endotracheal tube into the trachea. Or one can pump air though it in and out of the patient’s lungs. Not both at once, though.


    • Tammy Clement

      These type probably think that the Earth is flat and technology has peaked. If It’s unfathomable how a medical procedure, that hasn’t been done before, could possibly be explored. Oh my, they’re trying to kill us. Nah, COVID-19 can have’m.


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  10. By Josh Disbrow, owner of Aytu, in Wall Street Journal:
    An Experimental Ultraviolet Light Treatment for Covid-19 Takes Political Heat
    Trump’s musings prompt social-media censorship of information about an experimental treatment.

    “These days, politics seems to dictate that if one party says, “The sky is blue,” the other party is obligated to reply, “No, it’s not, and you’re a terrible human being for thinking that.” That leaves no room for science, in which the data speak for themselves, regardless of ideology, and only when they’re ready. Unfortunately, the visceral excitement of political conflict draws far more clicks and better ratings than the methodical world of science.
    Technologies like Healight, which if borne out through clinical studies may represent a viable way to kill coronaviruses, aren’t provided the clear-headed consideration they deserve but are instead flushed into the political mosh-pit of “us vs. them.”
    Twitter, YouTube and Vimeo are under enormous pressure from political activists.”


    • Nunya Siles

      Aytu bioscience will get the last laugh! I’ll check back in 30 days to see if you still have this garbage piece up!!!


  11. It has to be done like every other study. It must be used on animals first, to see if they have any adverse affects. If that shows it does no harm, then clinical studies can be done on humans, usually in double blind studies. If they prove no adverse affects, and it actually has positive results for killing viruses, not just bacteria, then the FDA will look over the studies and decide if it is approved. That process takes years. It’s a good thing it does, because if you rush in with no animal then human trials, you are going in blind, without knowing if it is actually beneficial in a noticeable way, and doesn’t cause harm to the patient. We don’t do quack science when human lives are at risk.


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  13. Rod Foster

    Trump never mentioned bleach. He simply said disinfectant.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Smut Clyde

      The context:

      Trump’s own public health agencies warn against bleach as a medicine.
      During Thursday’s (Friday NZT) White House coronavirus task force briefing, an official presented the results of US government research that indicated coronavirus appeared to weaken more quickly when exposed to sunlight and heat.
      The study also showed bleach could kill the virus in saliva or respiratory fluids within five minutes and isopropyl alcohol could kill it even more quickly.
      William Bryan, acting head of the US Department of Homeland Security’s Science and Technology Directorate, outlined the findings at the news conference.

      “And then I see the disinfectant where it knocks it out in a minute. One minute. And is there a way we can do something like that, by injection inside or almost a cleaning?
      “So it’d be interesting to check that.”

      Trump was talking about bleach.


      • Tammy Clement

        Disinfect = bleach? I didn’t know that.


      • Tammy L Clement

        Disinfectants are generally assumed to be limited to use on surfaces, but that is not the case. UV radiation is used as a disinfectant. There are a lot of people that actually drink bleach. It’s in city water. Yuck! The term “disinfectant” literally means “an agent that frees from infection”. That is certainly not limited to bleach.


    • 4TimesAYear

      And an anti-biotic is essentially a disinfectant. One respiratory therapist said they inject medicine into the lungs regularly. In babies with collapsed lungs, they use sufactant; others get antibiotics and other meds.


  14. 4TimesAYear

    Stop putting words in his mouth. You’ve apparently never brainstormed before. He never suggested using alcohol, bleach, or lysol.


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  16. Tim Allerz

    The one study performed on the technology was in the wrong location of application (i.e. colon vs. lungs) so that’s one issue. Second issue, the study was published in the United European Gastroenterology Journal, with an impact factor of just over 1 and an H index of 26. As a researcher myself this does not make the study appealing as if that’s the best they could get it accepted in, it’s likely not a well done study. Third, it’s not a well done study.

    It’s simple as this. UV light kills bacteria because it destroys the DNA/RNA in the cells. Eukaryotic cells (human cells) also have DNA/RNA in their cells. This is how we get skin cancer. This “treatment” is how we turn a bad thing worse. Debunked. Do not give Trump credit where credit is not due. Do your research. Be informed.


  17. Dr. Abdelkrim Chemseddien

    I have been following Raoult press conferences from the beginning. He insisted that the treatment helps only in the earlier stages of infection and does not help extremely sick peoples. This does not mean he refused to help sick peoples.I think better science needs also better reporting.


  18. Thank you for writing this article Leonid! Even if we assume that UV rays can kill the virus. The high energy rays would end up damaging the healthy cells as well. WHO has asked people to not use UV rays even as a disinfectant.


  19. Wayne Liston

    Any of you who use whitening mouthwash are already using a bleach, hydrogen peroxide, or did you sleep through Chem101 and think that NaClO was the only “bleach” in existence? You obviously did not read Trump’s HSA briefing notes which rated both equally effective. Your dentist now requires you rinse with a 1% peroxide solution to “reduce the viral load” before any procedure. Not recommended but if you swallow it, nothing bad will happen.
    As for UV, you do know that far UV-C at 222nm wavelength, (unlike common 254nm) is harmless to tissue but destroys viruses? Work at Columbia Univ. Center for Radiological Research established this in 2014. A German company has just announced an LED 222nm probe for bronchial irradiation.
    Do try to keep up with the science and avoid distorting and ridiculing…you may be killing people rapid deployment might have saved.


    • I really dont see how high energy radiation could hurt viruses but not tissue at the same time, as they are made of the same macromolecules (proteins and nucleic acids). You may have taken Chem101 but I guessed you never made it up to Biochemistry201.


    • Smut Clyde

      A German company has just announced an LED 222nm probe for bronchial irradiation.

      What Mr Liston has omitted here is any link to a German company with a 222 nm probe for bronchial irradiation.


    • Have you actually read the content of the link in your post?
      It is written that “What we have come up up with is a particular type of UV light (“far-UVC” light with a wavelength around 220 nm) which has only a very short range in biological material, so that it cannot penetrate the dead-cell layer at the surface of our skin, nor can it penetrate into our eyes. So it can’t reach or damage any living cells in our body.”
      It seems you missed the “dead-cell layer at the surface of our skin”, which plays the role of a barrier to that light. The far-UVC light kills the virus when it is in air, but cannot achieve this without further damage when it is in the body. Or perhaps you mean the approach is intended for aliens with a dead-cell layer also in their lungs.


    • Smut Clyde

      Your dentist now requires you rinse with a 1% peroxide solution to “reduce the viral load” before any procedure.

      Unaccountably, Mr Liston has forgotten to provide evidence that dentists require patients to rinse with peroxide solution,


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