Tech

Theranos: how does the trial evolve?

It’s been a few years since the Theranos scandal came to light. It is now when the case has finally ended up reaching the courts. And it is that, since the beginning of September, Elizabeth Holmes has been having to face a judicial process for a lie that was swelling and swelling, until it became one of the most notorious scandals in Silicon Valley, and also a sign that the famous unicorns of the valley, maybe they are not as magical and fantastic as everyone thought.

If you do not remember the case of Theranos, let’s do a quick summary: At only 19 years old, Holmes leaves the university, where he had started studies first in medicine and then in chemistry. The reason? Her phobia of needles was the catalyst that led her to devise a revolutionary system that, With just a few drops of blood, you could perform a large volume of tests, offering a high level of precision in the results.

As we already told you when we talked to you about the HBO series about Holmes, that is where the stellar career of Theranos and its founder began, with funding rounds that started with $ 500,000 in seed capital, up to $ 348 million in 2015. In a total of 10 rounds, and according to Crunchbase, Theranos achieved investments totaling 1,400 million dollars, while the company began to market its services.

However, although everything seemed to be going well for Theranos, almost from the first moment voices began to be heard questioning the reliability of the company’s technology. Even so, and despite the fact that the FDA had not approved Theranos technology, for a time the company began to add customers, while opening new laboratories in what seemed like an unstoppable race … until 2016 arrived, the year in which that irregularities finally began to surface.

Image: Steve Jurvetson

At that moment it began to be seen that Theranos was nothing but a house of cards, in which removing a few cards collapses the entire structure. Less than a year later, movements such as that of the millionaire Rupert Murdoch, ended up sinking the startup that had turned its creator into a celebrity, and starting a long and complex journey, which will soon be seen for sentencing, and in which Holmes faces a petition from the prosecution requesting 20 years in prison, a fine of 250,000 dollars and the payment of compensation to the victims of malpractice on the part of the company.

Today has been a key day in the judicial process since, after eleven weeks since it began, the prosecutors participating in it have finished presenting all the witnesses, about 30, who have given testimonies that put Theranos in the pillory. Today the appearance of the witnesses for the defense of Holmes has also begun.

In the phase of the prosecution they have gone through the stand investors, doctors and patients– some with testimonies as alarming as that of the pregnant woman who was wrongly told by a miscarriage of Theranos that she had suffered a miscarriage, or four former Theranos lab managers who have testified about the cancellation of up to 60,000 tests over a period of time. just two years old.

The situation seems particularly difficult for Holmes, which faces the wall of data that the prosecution has presented. It seems that the one who was one day a shining star of the startup world, and who has been in low hours for a few years, may soon have to face an even worse moment. Without a doubt, much worse than those punctures that she feared so much, and that led her to create Theranos.

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