Blood-testing startup Theranos reportedly to dissolve

Blood-testing startup Theranos reportedly to dissolve

It agreed to pay $US4.65 million as part of a fraud settlement brought by more than 175,000 consumers in Arizona who purchased Theranos tests at its pilot retail locations. It will formally disband in the coming months, according to an email to shareholders obtained by The Wall Street Journal. Most of Theranos's two-dozen remaining employees worked their last day on Friday, Aug. 31. All told, investors in Theranos have lost almost $1 billion.

Theranos is shutting down, The Wall Street Journal said on Tuesday night, citing a shareholder email.

She and Mr Balwani still face up to 20 years in prison and fines of millions of dollars if convicted of fraud. As the former CEO Elizabeth Holmes is facing fraud charges, the company has been mired in a myriad of scandals.

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According to the indictment, the company gave doctors - and through them, their patients - "materially false and misleading information concerning the accuracy and reliability of Theranos's blood testing services". The pharmacy chain has said it was misled by Theranos about its technology and prospects.

Holmes had claimed that the company's technology could run comprehensive lab tests using just a few drops of blood - a pitch that appealed to Walgreens, which partnered with Theranos to offer the blood tests in its stores. In reality, the SEC says, the analyzer could only complete a small number of tests, and the company "conducted the vast majority of patient tests on modified and industry-standard commercial analyzers manufactured by others". Its failure was dramatic and painful for many.

Theranos collected a distinguished board of advisers and investors including Rupert Murdoch, former secretary of state Henry Kissinger, Oracle founder Larry Ellison, Netscape founder and venture capital investor Marc Andreessen, former US Senator Sam Nunn and Bill Frist, former secretary of defense William Perry and current Defense Secretary James Mattis, who resigned from Theranos' board when he become defense secretary in 2016. At one time, Theranos was worth more than $10 billion and Holmes the youngest self-made female billionaire.

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