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Theranos Starts A New Plan As It Leaves Blood Testing For Good

Theranos has a new plan. After a string of highly publicized failures, CEO and founder Elizabeth Holmes says the Silicon Valley company is ready to move on to new things.

In 2015, Theranos was one of the world’s most promising start-ups, valued at $9 billion. It had closed a massive deal with Walgreens for its revolutionary blood-testing procedure, and Holmes was pegged as the next Steve Jobs, Fox Business reports.

Everything started going downhill on October 16, 2015. Pulitzer Prize winner John Carreyrou penned a series of articles for the Wall Street Journal, alleging that the company’s claims that their technology could be used for all sorts of diagnostic tests with just a few drops of blood were not quite true. Theranos had marketed their blood tests as a cheaper, faster alternative to traditional lab methods.

The expose prompted investigations into Theranos and its labs, and as most everyone knows, the technology was found to be faulty, company shares dropped, the California headquarters was closed down, Walgreens severed its contract and Holmes was slapped with a suspension against lab testing for at least two years, along with hefty fines.

In recent weeks, Holmes announced in an open letter that Theranos was quitting the lab testing business for good, laying off 40% of employees and putting its efforts into developing a miniLab platform.

The miniLab, which the entrepreneur unveiled on August 1 at the annual American Association of Clinical Chemistry, is a black box about the size of a microwave that contains a robot. The robot performs a number of tests using blood samples, and the boxes serve as portable medical testing stations.

This time, Holmes seems to have learned her lessons and is seeking to gain approval from the Food and Drug Administration, as well as make the company’s scientific data public, in order to ensure that the product succeeds.

Skeptics are concerned that this may just be another flawed attempt for Holmes to regain control of her company, but the open letter is determined to continue doing business in the medical industry. “We have a new executive team leading our work toward obtaining FDA clearances, building commercial partnerships, and pursuing publications in scientific journals,” the letter said. “We are fortunate to have supporters and investors who believe deeply in our mission of affordable, less invasive lab testing, and to have the runway to realize our vision.”

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