• Alexander Kagansky had a stab wound on his body
  • Police arrested a suspect as part of a homicide investigation
  • The suspect claimed that Kagansky stabbed himself and jumped from the balcony

A Russian scientist, who was working on a COVID-19 vaccine, was found dead with a stab wound after he fell from a high-rise apartment building in St. Petersburg on Saturday.

Alexander Kagansky, 45, a renowned biologist best known for his work on cancer research, was in his underwear when he fell to his death from the 14th floor of the building.

Police said he had a stab wound when the body found by a neighbor in the courtyard of the 16-story building. The death is being investigated as a possible homicide, reported local news outlet The Moscow Times.

Police believed a scuffle had taken place before Kagansky fell from the building. They arrested a 45-year-old suspect the same day. Local news outlets identified the suspect as Igor Ivanov, Kagansky's school friend, whom the victim was visiting on the day of his death.

Ivanov denied that he had stabbed his friend and claimed Kagansky stabbed himself. He would likely take a lie detector test as a part of the investigation. Ivanov said Kagansky was mentally disturbed and was injuring himself with a knife. He added that the victim jumped from the balcony when he tried to grab the knife from him, reported local news outlet Bild.

A possible motive behind the suspected murder was not known. Police were also investigating if the man stabbed himself before jumping from the building, reported local news outlet

Kagansky recently worked as the director of the Centre of Genomic and Regenerative Medicine at Russia's Far Eastern Federal University in Vladivostok. He had close ties with the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, and had worked in the city for 13 years. He had been working on developing a COVID 19 vaccine.

"He was a passionate and creative scientist, a friend to many," the Department of Human Genetics at the University of Edinburgh tweeted.

The incident came months after three Russian doctors, who were treating COVID-19 patients, fell out of hospital windows in separate incidents. Two of them died and the third person was seriously injured in the mysterious incidents that happened during April-May.

Alexander Sasha Kagansky was best known for his work on cancer research. pixabay