The billion dollar baby has now, officially, gone bye bye.
Just when you thought that the biggest ever "multi-billion" private company that also happens to be an utter fraud, would quietly disappear before it risked attracting even more unwarranted attention from regulators, enforcers, and criminal investigators which could potentially lead to prison time for "billionaire" Elizabeth Holmes, here she comes again reminding everyone of her fallen from grace presence, in this case with what should be the terminal news for this company, namely that as the WSJ reports (and as the company confirms) Theranos has told federal health regulators that the company voided and revised two years of results from its Edison blood-testing devices and has issued tens of thousands of corrected reports to doctors and patients.
As a reminder, the basis for Theranos ludicrous $9 billion valuation which it appears was achieved without anyone doing any actual due diligence, were the "Edison" machines which were touted as revolutionary - not just by Holmes but by the fawning media and even the Clintons. Theranos has now told regulators that it threw out all Edison test results from 2014 and 2015, effectively confirming it has no proprietary technology, and also validating that its valuation should be zero.
Worse, Theranos has told regulators that it used the Edison for 12 types of tests out of more than 200 offered to consumers and stopped using the devices altogether in late June 2015. In other words, Theranos' insane "valuation" was achieved on the basis of doing only 6% of blood tests in house (all of them erroneously we now learn), and outsourcing 94% to companies whose products actually worked and many of whom likely had a far lower valuation than the one at which a bunch of idiot billionaires "valued" Holmes' worthless company.
In the process of commiting fraud and building up her valuation, Holmes repeatedly gambled with people's lives, sending them clearly wrong results. As a result some patients have received erroneous results that might have thrown off health decisions made with their doctors, the WSJ reports. All this is needed is one death and there is a criminal case.
So why come clean now?
The move is part of Theranos’s attempt to persuade the agency not to impose stiff sanctions it threatened in the aftermath of its inspection of the company’s Newark, Calif., laboratory. The voided and revised test results are one of the most dramatic steps yet taken by Theranos.
Company records reviewed during the inspection showed that the California lab ran about 890,000 tests a year. The inspection found that Edison machines in the lab often failed to meet the company’s own accuracy requirements.
In other words, Theranos may have put as many as 890,000 lives per year in jeopardy with its fake technology.
The good news, this is now officially game over for if not Elizabeth Holmes, then certainly her company:
“There have been massive recalls of single tests in the past, but I’m not aware of one where a company recalled the entirety of the results from its testing platform,” said Geoffrey Baird, associate professor in the department of laboratory medicine at the University of Washington in Seattle. “I believe that’s unprecedented.”
The company also commented:
In response to questions from The Wall Street Journal about the blood-test corrections, Theranos spokeswoman Brooke Buchanan said: “Excellence in quality and patient safety is our top priority and we’ve taken comprehensive corrective measures to address the issues CMS raised in their observations. As these matters are currently under review, we have no further comment at this time.”
That's rich, pardon the pun. Less rich, if only on paper, will be Holmes who will have ample opportunity to make numerous comments during trial.
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Finally, the question everyone should be asking is who enabled this fraud for so many years? The simple answer: everyone, and especially those who have an agenda to conduct one endless infomercial for a product that ended up being an epic fraud. Here is a sample (courtesy of Bruce Quinn).
August 30, 2013
"Theranos: The Biggest Biotech You've Never Heard of."
San Francisco Business Times. By Ron Leuty. Here.
September 8, 2013
"Elizabeth Holmes: The Breakthrough of Instant Diagnosis."
October 9, 2013
"Just a Drop Will Do."
Pediatric News. By William Wilkoff. Here.
November 13, 2013.
"One Small Ow-eee."
PediaBlog. By Ned Ketyer MD. Here.
November 18, 2013
"Creative disruption? She's 29 and Set to Reboot Lab Medicine."
US Patent: "Systems and Methods of Sample Processing and Fluid Control in a Fluidic System."
PDF, Patent 8,742,230 B2, 80 pp.. Here.
"This invention is in the field of medical devices...portable medical devices that allow real-tie detection of analytes from a biological fluid...for providing point-of-care testing for a variety of medical applications."
"Theranos: Small Sample, Big Opportunity."
Decibio [Consultancy blog]. By Eric Lakin. Here.
"Meet Elizabeth Holmes, Silicon Valley's Latest Phenomenon"
San Jose Mercury News, by Michelle Quinn. Here.
"Theranos bringing 500 new jobs to Scottsdale's SkySong."
Phoenix Business Journal. By Angela Gonzales. Here. [SkySong is an ASU-affiliated tech park].
"Meet Elizabeth Holmes, the Youngest Female Self-made Billionaire Changing the World with Medical Technology."
Women's ILAB, by Katherine Melescuic. Here.
"This Woman's Revolutionary Idea Made Her A Billionaire — And Could Change Medicine."
Business Insider. By Kevin Loria. Here. See also June 4, 2015.
"Health Plans Deploy New Systems to Control Use of Lab Tests."
Managed Care. By Joseph Burns. Here.
Does not directly cite Theranos. Cites contrasting viewpoints on the value of direct easy inexpensive test access:
October 1, 2014
October 16, 2014
"She's America's Youngest Female Billionaire - And a Dropout."
by Rachel Crane. CNN/Money. Here. [Text & Video.]
October 27, 2014
"Theranos Due Diligence: Company Profile, SWOT Analysis, Market Opportunity."
Decibio. Consulting group profile of Theranos and its valuation and market position (73 pages; $850). Here. Table of Contents, here. Additional description here.
Here.,For further details, see here.
November 7, 2014
"Major Upside for Walgreens Stock"
InvestorPlace. By John Divine. Here.
"The single biggest catalyst for WAG stock in the future may be the company’s decision to partner with the privately held health-tech firm Theranos."
Video interview with Pattie Sellers. Here.
For further details, see here.
December 8, 2014
"Here's How the World's Youngest Self-Made Female Billionaire Shows People She's In Charge."
Business Insider. By Richard Feloni. Here.
December 8, 2014
"The New Yorker on the Promise, the Secrecy, and the Challenges of Super-Startup Theranos."
MedCityNews. by Meghana Keshavan. Here.
December 12, 2014
"Behind the Curtain at Theranos."
NBC News. (Video). Interview with Ken Auletta. Here.
For more detail, see here.
December 14, 2014
"Blood Test Innovation: Less Cost, No Big Needle"
Information Week/Healthcare. By Larry Stofko. Here.
February 2, 2015.
February 27, 2015
March 5, 2015
March 9, 2015
April 20, 2015
"Can Theranos Disrupt the Clinical Lab Testing Market? An Objective Look at Advantages, Liabilities, and Challenges That Must Be Addressed."
[Pathology] Executive War College. By Dr. Robert Boorstein. [Deck] Here.
July 2, 2015
August 24, 2015
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Finally here is Draper ssociates' Tim Draper - board member and first investor in Theranos - explaining why "the company is fantastic...I believe 100 % in Elizxabeth Holmes and her company," blaming the recent turmoil on media backlash and the status quo pushing back against someone who is 'disrupting' - which we now know is entirely 100% false as Holmes' just admitted her company's 'product' is a fraud...
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how you get to be worth $9 billion on a "technology" that was nothing but fraud.