Theranos founder announces company pivot

SHARE Theranos founder announces company pivot

Elizabeth Holmes | Photo: Martin E. Klimek special for USA Today

SAN FRANCISCO — Embattled Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes announced Wednesday that the once high-flying biotech start-up would close its Wellness Centers and lay off 340 employees.

Holmes wrote in a company blog post that Theranos would instead focus on a proprietary blood testing machine that would, in theory, requires mere drops of blood to perform tests that traditionally require vials of blood.

The Silicon Valley company, which once was worth upwards of $9 billion, has over the past year been met with a variety of federal sanctions after investigators found deficiencies in Theranos labs. In most instances, the company was testing blood using traditional machines instead of its own device.

Most recently, Holmes was barred from operating a lab for two years by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

“We will return our undivided attention to our miniLab platform,” Holmes wrote. “Our ultimate goal is to commercialize miniaturized, automated laboratories capable of small-volume sample testing, with an emphasis on vulnerable patient populations, including oncology, pediatrics, and intensive care.”

The layoffs affect Theranos personnel at its centers in Arizona, Pennsylvania and California.

Holmes’ open letter also notes that Theranos has a “new executive team leading our work toward obtaining FDA clearances, building commercial partnerships, and pursuing publications in scientific journals.”

Holmes and her company have been criticized for extreme secrecy. The company has come to represent how some Silicon Valley investors placed in an ordinate amount of faith in a charismatic leader who promised to revolutionize an industry but was unwilling to offer a transparent view into how that would be achieved.

The Latest
The two men — each facing significant controversies — steered clear of addressing either the abuse allegations against Allen or the shooting last year on Baldwin’s movie set.
The Chicago Department of Public Health and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois are teaming up to open family vaccination clinics on the South Side throughout the summer.
OB/GYN accreditation rules require training in abortions for medical residents, who might use the same skills for treating miscarriages and other complications, doctors say.
Williams was two points from advancing while serving for the match at 5-4 in the third set but couldn’t get closer.
The mayor contends the amount of “respite baked into” the police contract makes Catanzara’s “narrative” about cops being worked “like mules” false.