A Russian scientist who is believed to have been helping researchers develop a Covid-19 vaccine has died in “strange circumstances”.
Biologist Alexander "Sasha" Kagansky had been working with researchers in the fight against the coronavirus, and had previously worked at Edinburgh University.
The 45-year-old was found dead in St Petersburg on Saturday after falling from the fourteenth floor of a building, and allegedly with a stab wound to his body.
Russian newspaper Moskovsky Komsomolets claims the Russian Investigative Committee has opened an investigation into the death and that a 45-year-old man has been arrested.
The news outlet reported that Mr Kagansky had been “developing a vaccine against coronavirus” and that he died “under strange circumstances”.
The report goes on to claim police believe there had been a “scuffle” before the victim fell from a 14th-floor window.
While local cops have said a criminal case for murder had been opened following the discovery of the body “with signs of a violent death”.
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Mr Kagansky worked at the Wellcome Trust Centre for Cell Biology, University of Edinburgh, between 2005 and 2012.
He had worked as a postdoctoral research associate then a senior research associate at the British institution.
More recently, he worked as Director of the Centre for Genomic and Regenerative Medicine at Russia’s Far Eastern Federal University in Vladivostok – where he continued to work with Edinburgh University.
It is unclear which Covid-19 vaccine the scientist had been helping develop.
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Russia announced its own vaccine in August, but the treatment has remained unproven by scientists since it was revealed and distributed to Russian nationals.
China has also devised its own vaccine against the virus – which is believed to have originated in the country – but this has similarly been denied approval from world scientists.
Meanwhile, the UK became the first country in the world to approve an effective vaccine last month – and has since started distributing injections this month.
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