Theranos to Shut Labs, Lay Off 340 Workers

Its founder was already banned from owning labs
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 6, 2016 3:05 AM CDT
Theranos Is Closing All of Its Blood Labs
Elizabeth Holmes, founder and CEO of Theranos, speaks at the Fortune Global Forum in San Francisco last year.   (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File)

After scandal and sanctions, Theranos says it is shutting down all of its blood-testing labs and laying off hundreds of workers. "We have moved to structure our company around the model best aligned with our core values and mission," Elizabeth Holmes, the embattled medical technology firm's founder and CEO, says in an open letter, announcing that the move will cost an estimated 340 jobs. She says the company is going to focus on its miniLab technology to "commercialize miniaturized, automated laboratories capable of small-volume sample testing, with an emphasis on vulnerable patient populations, including oncology, pediatrics, and intensive care."

Theranos has lost major partnerships and is the subject of several investigations over its claim of being able to conduct blood tests using just one drop, CNBC notes, Holmes has been banned from owning or operating a lab for two years. The closing of its clinical labs marks a major shift for Theranos, but the new focus on selling equipment to outside labs will make it much easier for Holmes to remain in her position, reports the Wall Street Journal, which notes that the 32-year-old controls a majority voting stake in the firm and insiders say it would be very difficult to remove her from her position. (In August, Theranos withdrew its FDA clearance request for a miniLab Zika blood test.)

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