It feels like the final chapter of a Silicon Valley cautionary tale—Theranos, the blood testing startup once valued at $9 billion, will shut down its facilities and cut more than 40% of its employees as it changes direction to developing products to be sold to outside labs. It's a major setback for founder Elizabeth Holmes, who once dazzled investors with her ambition to transform health care through low-cost blood tests. But that bubble was popped by Wall Street Journal reporter John Carreyou, who started investigating the company and revealed that its vaunted technology didn't work as planned.
Yesterday evening, Holmes posted a letter on the company site, announcing the changes and its intention to focus on developing and selling the miniLab, "miniaturized, automated laboratories capable of small-volume sample testing, with an emphasis on vulnerable patient populations, including oncology, pediatrics, and intensive care." MB