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Theranos update

Elizabeth Holmes, the founder of blood testing startup Theranos, appeared in court on Tuesday, and the jury’s selection began one of the largest fraud trials in Silicon Valley.

Holmes faces charges of making false statements about Theranos’ blood tests and the company’s financial status to deceive investors and patients. Her trial is proceeding in the Federal Court of San Jose, California, and is expected to hear the opening debate next week.

Ramesh Balwani, the former president of Theranos, and Holmes’ ex-boyfriend will appear in court next year. Neither pleaded guilty.

Holmes’ trial marked The long-awaited end The legend of Theranos was once valued at $9 billion by investors and was hailed as a revolutionary product, but then gradually disintegrated with the evidence of the accuracy of its blood testing technology.

As venture capitalists inject record amounts of money into young but promising companies, the litigation process can also provide important scrutiny of the sometimes blurred line between the optimistic predictions of tech start-ups and outright fraud.

Theranos claims to be developing a technology that can perform a series of medical tests using only a few drops of blood. It reached an agreement to provide testing services for Walgreens patients and raised a total of more than $700 million from investors including venture capital firm DFJ, Walton’s Walton family, and media mogul Rupert Murdoch. Of funds.

However, the company Start to disintegrate After the Wall Street Journal Report In 2015, it used general-purpose diagnostic equipment instead of proprietary technology to perform many tests.

U.S. Department of Justice be accused Three years later, Holmes and Balwani claimed that they deliberately misled doctors and patients when promoting Theranos technology, and misrepresented the company’s financial status and prospects to investors.

Balwani, Holmes, and Theranos previously reached a settlement with the US Securities and Exchange Commission and Holmes on fraud allegations agree and support 500,000 US dollars fine and give up her shares in the company. The company disbanded and transferred its patents to Fortress Investment Group, one of its lenders.

It is unclear whether Holmes, represented by the litigation firm Williams & Connolly, will testify in her own trial. Her lawyer did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the proceedings were repeatedly delayed, and Holmes gave birth to a baby in July.

Last weekend, unsealed court documents showed that Holmes’ lawyers argued that Balwani had abused her and caused PTSD. Balwani’s lawyer denied these claims.

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