Blood-testing startup Theranos said to be closing

Blood-testing firm Theranos to formally dissolve report says

His first expose on the company's technology ran in October 2015, and Theranos voided two years of its blood tests just seven months later.

Theranos, the blood-testing company founded by Elizabeth Holmes, is going out of business.

Holmes and her ex-boyfriend Ramesh "Sunny" Balwani were indicted back in June on nine counts of wire fraud and two counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

Theranos is closing up shop, The Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday night, citing a shareholder email. Holmes garnered abundant media praise, with The New Yorker lauding her "One Woman Drive to Revolutionise Medical Testing". If convicted, they could face prison sentences that would keep them behind bars for the rest of their lives, and total fines of US$2.75 million each.

Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes was once lauded as the youngest self-made female billionaire. Theranos later had to void a million tests, and some patients reported ill effects from relying on inaccurate results of the testing, the Journal reported.

She carefully crafted her image as well, wearing nearly entirely black turtleneck sweaters that earned her the moniker in Silicon Valley as 'the next Steve Jobs'.

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Prosecutors say they engaged in a multi-million dollar scheme to defraud investors, doctors and patients. Holmes later reached a settlement deal with the SEC, which requires her to pay $500,000, forfeit 19 million shares of company stock, and be barred from having a leadership position in any public company for ten years.

The roster of Theranos investors-most of whom poured money into the company after its commercial rollout in Walgreens stores in late 2013-included the Waltons, heirs to Walmart Inc. founder Sam Walton; Atlanta's Cox family; the family of Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos; and Rupert Murdoch, executive chairman of 21st Century Fox and of News Corp, the Journal's parent company.

Theranos tried to recover, but couldn't bring enough capital into the company. Investors and the media hyped Theranos as a breakthrough in the large blood-testing market, where the U.S. diagnostic-lab industry posts annual sales of over $70 billion.

Balwani continues to fight the SEC's charges against him.

Neither Taylor nor representatives for Palo Alto, California-based Theranos immediately responded to Reuters' requests for comment.

Ultimately, blame must be laid at the cult of hero worship that sprung up around Elizabeth Holmes, much as it did around Steve Jobs, and more recently, Elon Musk.

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