Theranos says it will lay off 41 percent of its workforce

Theranos Inc., the embattled blood-testing company, will fire about 41 percent of its employees after months of regulatory setbacks, lawsuits, and scrutiny.

The Silicon Valley startup will eliminate 155 positions, leaving 220 employees who will focus on developing a new product, a tabletop blood testing product called the miniLab.

It’s the second wave of layoffs for Theranos, which previously in October fired 340 workers and said it would close its testing labs.

Once lauded as a potentially revolutionary company in the medical testing industry, Theranos has been plagued by questions about the accuracy and viability of its technology.

U.S. inspectors found failures so severe as to jeopardize patients’ health at Theranos’s lab in Newark, California, leading to sanctions including banning Chief Executive Officer Elizabeth Holmes from running a clinical lab. Theranos is appealing the sanctions.

Theranos chief executive Elizabeth Holmes (Glenn Chapman/Agence France-Presse via Getty Images)


Theranos will shrink by almost half, laying off 155 employees

The slow implosion of the blood-testing company Theranos continued in 2017 as the firm announced that it would lay off 40 percent of its employees in what it called a “further re-engineering.”

The company is laying off 155 employees, leaving “a core team of 220 professionals to execute on its business plans,” Theranos said in a statement on its website. The layoffs follow a round of deep job cuts in October, when Theranos laid off 340 employees and shuttered its clinical laboratories and wellness centers.

“These are always the most difficult decisions; however, this move allows Theranos to marshal its resources most efficiently and effectively,” the statement said.

Theranos has been struggling to get back on course after regulators found a slew of compliance issues over the past year and a half. Theranos voided two years of test results from its proprietary blood-testing device last year and lost a major business partner, Walgreens. It is being sued by patients and investors. Regulators have imposed harsh sanctions, including a two-year ban on Theranos chief executive Elizabeth Holmes owning or operating a clinical laboratory. The company has said it is appealing the decision.

In December, Theranos moved to bolster its corporate ranks, bringing in a medical device manufacturing expert and a corporate communications expert with a background in handling crises. Theranos added an expert in molecular diagnostics to its scientific and medical advisory board. Also in December, retired Marine Gen. James N. Mattis, who once pushed for the military to test the technology in the battlefield, left the company's board of directors.

A slimmed-down Theranos will now work to bring its miniLab testing platform to market, according to the statement. Holmes unveiled the blood-testing technology at a packed scientific conference session in the summer. The presentation disappointed a crowd of scientists who had hoped her presentation would reveal what exactly went wrong with a previous proprietary and highly secretive blood-testing device that had helped make the company one of the hottest start-ups in recent years.

“In the streamlined organization, teams have been aligned to meet product development, regulatory and commercial milestones,” the company said in a statement.


Theranos to Lay Off 41% of Workforce, Company Says

Blood-testing startup Theranos Inc. will fire about 41 percent of its employees after months of regulatory setbacks, lawsuits and scrutiny, saying it is paring down to focus on a new product.

The Silicon Valley company will eliminate 155 positions, leaving 220 employees who will work on the new product, a tabletop blood testing product called the miniLab.

“These are always the most difficult decisions; however, this move allows Theranos to marshal its resources most efficiently and effectively,” the firm said in a statement on Friday.

It’s the second wave of layoffs for Theranos, which in October fired 340 workers and said it would close its clinical labs and consumer outlets. Theranos had signed a partnership to put its testing centers in Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. stores, mainly in Arizona. Now Walgreens is suing the startup.

Once lauded as a potentially revolutionary company in the medical testing industry, Theranos has been plagued by questions about the accuracy and viability of its technology. U.S. inspectors found failures so severe as to jeopardize patients’ health at Theranos’s lab in Newark, California, leading to sanctions including banning Chief Executive Officer Elizabeth Holmes from running a clinical lab. Theranos is appealing the sanctions.
Since then, Theranos has said it’s reformed and is working to pursue publications in scientific journals and gain FDA clearance for the miniLab. The company has also reshaped its management team, retiring a group of counselors who were criticized as having little health-care experience and hiring executives and board members from the health industry.

0 Response to "Theranos says it will lay off 41 percent of its workforce"