Theranos is finally going away for good


The Wall Street Journal has obtained a copy of the email, which was sent by CEO David Taylor to shareholders.

The journalist who wrote the initial article that exposed the company's deceit back in October 2015, John Carreyrou, has since written an astonishing book that details what was going on inside the company during the years it evaded regulators, lied to investors and scrambled to cover their tracks.

In June, founder Elizabeth Holmes and former Theranos president Ramesh "Sunny" Balwani were indicted on two counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and nine counts of wire fraud for misleading investors and the public. Holmes, once considered a wunderkind in Silicon Valley, had pitched Theranos' technology as a cheaper way to run dozens of blood tests.

Ms Holmes herself became a business pin-up, wearing a black turtleneck jumper that drew comparisons with Steve Jobs, while profiles regularly pointed out that, like other successful tech entrepreneurs such as Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg, she was a college drop-out.

But an investigation by The Wall Street Journal two years ago found that Theranos' technology was inaccurate at best, and that the Palo Alto, Calif. -based company was using routine blood-testing equipment for the vast majority of its tests.

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The pair has denied the charges and faces potential decades in prison and massive fines. Instead of the familiar needles, tourniquets, vials, and bandages of the past, Theranos offered a comprehensive blood test that required just a finger stick and a single drop of blood. Inc Magazine described Holmes "as the world's youngest female self-made billionaire, she's stumbled into this rarefied position and is beginning to own it".

At last, Theranos, a privately held health technology founded in 2003 by then-19-year-old Elizabeth Holmes, is finally shutting down. The story raised concerns about the accuracy of Theranos' blood testing technology, which put patients at risk of having conditions either misdiagnosed or ignored.

The company did not immediately respond to Ars' request for comment. It may take up to a year to have everything settled, but the company's employees worked for the last time on August 31.

As NPR's James Doubek reported in March, Holmes has already settled civil charges brought by the Securities and Exchange Commission, agreeing to pay a $500,000 penalty and to refrain from serving as a director or officer of a publicly traded company for 10 years.

Theranos collected a distinguished board of advisers and investors including Rupert Murdoch, former secretary of state Henry Kissinger, Oracle founder Larry Ellison, former U.S. Sens.