Embattled blood-testing firm Theranos to dissolve

Embattled blood-testing firm Theranos to dissolve

The Wall Street Journal got its hands on an email the company's CEO David Taylor sent to shareholders.

Theranos and Ms Holmes, its founder, claimed that Edison, their invention, a portable blood analyser, could conduct comprehensive tests using tiny amounts of blood taken from a pinprick on the finger, rather than vials filled with blood taken from veins.

Holmes and Theranos former president Ramesh Balwani were indicted in June on charges of engaging in schemes that defraud investors, patients, and doctors. One month after the Feds launched their probe, Holmes voided the results of two years of the startup's blood tests. She graced magazine covers, and Inc. magazine dubbed her "The Next Steve Jobs". Holmes later reached a settlement deal with the SEC, which requires her to pay $500,000, forfeit 19 million shares of company stock, and be barred from having a leadership position in any public company for ten years.

But Theranos came under scrutiny after the Journal published articles questioning its claims.

Despite the fact the disgraced former CEO, now 34, has already paid half a million dollars in fines to the Securities and Exchange Commission and is facing the prospect of serious jail time, Theranos hadn't given up hope of saving itself - until now.

The executives have denied the charges and face a coming criminal trial. By 2014, Theranos was valued at $10 billion and she, herself, became a billionaire in the process. The Journal reports that most of the company's employees - reported to be down to fewer than two dozen as of April, a drastic fall from a peak of 800 - worked their last day on August 31.

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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'.

The Journal's investigation marked the beginning of the end of Theranos. Walgreens ended its blood-testing partnership with the company, and the Department of Health and Human Services effectively banned Theranos in 2016 from doing any blood testing work.

Holmes and the company have since settled these allegations.

The company did not immediately respond to Ars' request for comment.

Investors poured almost $1 billion into Theranos and three former USA cabinet secretaries, two former United States senators, a retired admiral and a retired Marine Corps general joined its board.

Theranos and its founder Elizabeth Holmes was once the darling of Silicon Valley.

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