Once-heralded blood-testing startup Theranos is closing


It is the latest twist in one of the most dramatic rise-and-fall stories U.S. business has ever seen and comes three months after Elizabeth Holmes, who founded the company at the age of 19, was charged with fraud along with Sunny Balwani, her former lover and the company's former chief operating officer.

In May, it was announced that a movie based on a book by Wall Street Journal writer John Carreyrou was in the works and would star Jennifer Lawrence as Holmes.

Theranos was unable to sell itself and is now looking to pay unsecured creditors its remaining cash of about $5 million in the upcoming months, according to an email The Wall Street Journal obtained that CEO David Taylor sent to shareholders.

The once-heralded blood-testing startup Theranos is shutting down, according to a media report.

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The startup's founder and former CEO, Elizabeth Holmes, was indicted on federal wire fraud charges in June.

Theranos, founded in 2003 by a then 19-year-old, wide-eyed Elizabeth Holmes, the Stanford drop-out who everyone believed could change the world.

Taylor's email to shareholders was also reported by the Financial Times.

Prosecutors had said Holmes and Balwani used advertising and solicitations to encourage doctors and patients to use its blood testing laboratory services despite knowing the company could not produce accurate and reliable results consistently.

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Theranos was in default under its credit facility with Fortress Investment Group, Taylor said in the letter. By 2014, they were estimated to be worth $9 billion.

"Because the Company's cash is not almost sufficient to pay all of its creditors in full, there will be no distributions to shareholders", the letter states.

The regulator alleged that Theranos, Ms Holmes and Mr Balwani made a series of false and misleading statements in investor presentations, product demonstrations and interviews.

Ms Holmes reached a settlement with the US Securities & Exchange Commission in March this year in which she paid a $500,000 fine, returned her shares to the company and was banned from serving as an officer or director of a public company for 10 years.

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