FLICKR, STEVE JURVETSON
Theranos is laying off around 340 employees of clinical labs and “wellness centers” in Arizona, California, and Pennsylvania, Chief Executive Officer Elizabeth Holmes announced yesterday (October 5). This year alone, the company has been investigated by various federal agencies for allegedly misleading officials and operating a lab under substandard conditions; Holmes has been banned from running labs for two years.
In an open letter addressed to the firm’s stakeholders, Holmes yesterday said Theranos would be shifting its focus to research only.
“We will return our undivided attention to our miniLab platform,” Holmes wrote, referring to technology she debuted at the American Association for Clinical Chemistry’s annual meeting in Philadelphia this August. “Our ultimate goal is to commercialize miniaturized, automated laboratories capable of small-volume sample testing, with an emphasis on vulnerable patient populations, including oncology, pediatrics, and intensive care.”
As STAT News reported, “Wednesday’s announcement marks perhaps the most significant retreat for a company that had once been valued at $9 billion, higher than any other venture-backed private company in health care. More recently, Forbes had valued it at $0.”