RIP Theranos

Elizabeth Holmes (L) and Alan Murray speak at the Fortune Global Forum at the Fairmont Hotel on November 2, 2015 in San Francisco, California.
Image: Getty

Failed blood-testing start-up Theranos, a $10-billion company that in 2015 was discovered to be an elaborate scam, is finally shutting down.

Months after the Department of Justice charged Theranos founder and former CEO Elizabeth Holmes and former Chief Operating Officer Ramesh Balwani with wire fraud, the floundering company has announced its dissolution in a letter to shareholders, obtained by the Wall Street Journal.


After Holmes was charged in June, David Taylor, general counsel for Theranos, replaced her as the CEO. In the letter, he explained that the company has not been able to find a buyer, and is negotiating a deal with Fortress Investment Group, which had loaned Theranos $65 million, to take ownership of the company’s interests and intellectual property. The company aims to distribute around $5 million among unsecured creditors.

Founded in 2003 by a 19-year-old Holmes, Theranos marketed a technology that could run more than 240 laboratory blood tests from just a prick of blood. Walgreens bought in, soaring Theranos’s value to, at one point, more than $9-billion, and making Holmes America’s youngest self-made female billionaire. It was too good to be true, however. The Wall Street Journal reported in 2015 that there was nothing new, in fact, about Theranos’s technology, and then scientists and researchers found major inaccuracies in Theranos’s testing. Everything went downhill from there, and on Wednesday, the Theranos saga has met its end.

Good riddance to the biggest scam of the decade. You will not be missed.

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Prachi Gupta

Prachi Gupta is a senior reporter at Jezebel.

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