Embattled blood-testing firm Theranos to dissolve

Alicia Farmer
September 5, 2018

Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes, who started the company when she was 19, was celebrated as a rising Silicon Valley star until it became clear that numerous claims about the company's supposedly revolutionary blood test were bogus.

The end is nigh for Theranos, the allegedly fraudulent blood testing firm, according to a new report.

Theranos, founded in 2003 when Ms Holmes was 19, had claimed its Edison devices could test for conditions such as cancer and cholesterol with only a few drops of blood from a finger-prick, rather than taking full blood samples by needle from a vein.

In June, the US Justice Department said a federal grand jury in California indicted Holmes, 34, and Ramesh "Sunny" Balwani, 53, who had been president and chief operating officer.

She carefully crafted her image as well, wearing nearly entirely black turtleneck sweaters that earned her the moniker in Silicon Valley as "the next Steve Jobs".

But prosecutors allege that Holmes and Balwani deliberately misled investors, policymakers and the public about the accuracy of Theranos' blood-testing technologies going back to at least 2013.

But Theranos' blood-testing machines weren't reliable, and the company itself relied on other companies' devices to run blood tests.

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Investors bought what Holmes was selling and invested hundreds of millions of dollars in the company.

Theranos laid off most of its staff earlier this year. At one time, Theranos was worth more than $10 billion and Holmes was the youngest self-made female billionaire.

Theranos Inc., the Silicon Valley blood testing company accused of defrauding investors, will formally dissolve, the Wall Street Journal reported.

The Wall Street Journal began investigating and published a series of exposes starting from October 2015.

The downfall of Holmes, who settled with the Securities and Exchange Commission in March over fraud charges it announced against her, has hastened the collapse of her company.

As part of the settlement, Ms Holmes had to return millions of shares to the privately held company and pay a $500,000 fine.

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