Elizabeth Holmes is living on the grounds of a $135 million Silicon Valley estate during her trial

Business

CNBC 07 September, 2021 - 10:51am 31 views

It’s Good That Elizabeth Holmes Failed

The New Republic 07 September, 2021 - 12:50pm

The elevator pitch that cajoled hundreds of millions from investors’ pockets was presumably similar to Holmes’s 2014 Ted Talk, which has since been yanked from the internet. In it, the buzzy wunderkind recounted the story of how her beloved uncle’s untimely death from metastatic cancer and her own paralyzing fear of needles inspired her to dream up a way to screen for some 200 medical conditions early and often, using only a single drop of blood from one finger prick in lieu of multiple vials from a full-on venipuncture. Such an innovation, she reasoned, might have led to her uncle being diagnosed much earlier, which could have lengthened his life considerably. Holmes also emphasized that democratizing health data through ubiquitous screening on demand, without a doctor’s orders, would produce a slew of societal benefits: Imagine a world in which consumers were empowered to take any blood test, whenever they wanted, allowing them to access crucial information at the moment it really matters.

Natalie Shure is a writer and researcher in Boston. Her work focuses on history, health, and politics.

These cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

These cookies enable the website to provide enhanced functionality and personalization. They may be set by us or by third-party providers whose services we have added to our pages. If you do not allow these cookies, some or all of these services may not function properly.

These cookies allow us to count visits and traffic sources so we can measure and improve the performance of our site. They help us to know which pages are the most and least popular and see how visitors move around the site. All information these cookies collect is aggregated and therefore anonymous. If you do not allow these cookies, we will not know when you have visited our site and will not be able to monitor its performance.

These cookies are necessary for the website to function and cannot be switched off in our systems. They are usually only set in response to actions made by you that amount to a request for services, such as setting your privacy preferences, logging in, or filling in forms. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not then work. These cookies do not store any personally identifiable information.

It’s Good That Elizabeth Holmes Failed

Daily Mail 07 September, 2021 - 12:50pm

The elevator pitch that cajoled hundreds of millions from investors’ pockets was presumably similar to Holmes’s 2014 Ted Talk, which has since been yanked from the internet. In it, the buzzy wunderkind recounted the story of how her beloved uncle’s untimely death from metastatic cancer and her own paralyzing fear of needles inspired her to dream up a way to screen for some 200 medical conditions early and often, using only a single drop of blood from one finger prick in lieu of multiple vials from a full-on venipuncture. Such an innovation, she reasoned, might have led to her uncle being diagnosed much earlier, which could have lengthened his life considerably. Holmes also emphasized that democratizing health data through ubiquitous screening on demand, without a doctor’s orders, would produce a slew of societal benefits: Imagine a world in which consumers were empowered to take any blood test, whenever they wanted, allowing them to access crucial information at the moment it really matters.

Natalie Shure is a writer and researcher in Boston. Her work focuses on history, health, and politics.

These cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

These cookies enable the website to provide enhanced functionality and personalization. They may be set by us or by third-party providers whose services we have added to our pages. If you do not allow these cookies, some or all of these services may not function properly.

These cookies allow us to count visits and traffic sources so we can measure and improve the performance of our site. They help us to know which pages are the most and least popular and see how visitors move around the site. All information these cookies collect is aggregated and therefore anonymous. If you do not allow these cookies, we will not know when you have visited our site and will not be able to monitor its performance.

These cookies are necessary for the website to function and cannot be switched off in our systems. They are usually only set in response to actions made by you that amount to a request for services, such as setting your privacy preferences, logging in, or filling in forms. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not then work. These cookies do not store any personally identifiable information.

Elizabeth Holmes' trial to dissect downfall of a tech star

The Independent 07 September, 2021 - 11:03am

Now Holmes is about to head into a San Jose, California, courtroom to defend herself against criminal allegations depicting her as the devious mastermind of a fraud that duped wealthy investors, former U.S. government officials and patients whose lives were endangered by a blood-testing technology that never came close to fulfilling her bold promises.

If convicted by a jury in a trial that begins Wednesday, Holmes could be sentenced to 20 years in prison — a stunning reversal of fortune for an entrepreneur whose wealth once was pegged at $4.5 billion. That amount represented her 50% stake in Theranos a Palo Alto, California, biotech startup she founded in 2003 after dropping out of Stanford University at the age of 19.

Besides rehashing Holmes' stunning rise and fall, the three-month trial may also shine a light on how style sometimes overshadows substance in Silicon Valley, which prides itself on an ethos of logic, data and science over emotion.

Holmes' saga has peeled back the curtain on a “fake it until you make it" strategy that's been adopted by other ambitious startups who believe that with just need a little more time to perfect their promised breakthroughs they can join the hallowed ranks of Apple, Google, Facebook and other tech pioneers that sprang up in the 50-mile corridor from San Francisco to San Jose.

“I came away thinking she was just a zealot who really believed her technology would really work so maybe she could fudge just a little bit," said author Ken Auletta, who has written extensively about Silicon Valley and was given behind-the-scenes access to Holmes for a 2014 profile in The New Yorker magazine. “I came away thinking she really believed what she was doing was a public good. And if it had worked, it would have been a public good."

If nothing else, Holmes proved to be a master marketer while pitching the premise that Theranos would help people avoid having to tell their loved ones “goodbye too soon."

Theranos — a name derived from the words “therapy" and “diagnosis"— claimed to be perfecting a technology that could test for hundreds of diseases by extracting just a few drops of blood from a quick finger prick done at “wellness centers" across the U.S.

Holmes promised the samples would be tested in a specially designed machine named after famed inventor Thomas Edison. In her spiel, they would cost a fraction of traditional tests that require a doctor's referral and vials of drawn blood before lab processing that could take days to deliver results.

Told in Holmes' husky voice, the story sounded so compelling that she could assemble a well-connected board of directors that helped burnish Theranos' credibility. The board included former U.S. Secretary of States Henry Kissinger and George Shultz, former U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis, former Sen. Sam Nunn, former Wells Fargo Bank CEO Richard Kovacevich, and her former adviser at Stanford, Channing Robertson, who quit his tenured job as a chemical engineering professor after deciding she had Beethoven-like qualities.

Holmes tried to cast herself in the mold of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, even adopting his habit of wearing mostly black turtlenecks.

Besides recruiting an impressive board, Holmes also raised nearly $900 million before Theranos' collapse, triggered by a series of explosive Wall Street Journal articles that revealed serious flaws in the company's technology.

The Journal articles spurred an inquiry by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and a civil lawsuit filed by the Securities and Exchange Commission. The SEC case resulted in a $500,000 settlement without an admission of wrongdoing, but still proved to be the end of Theranos, which shut down in 2018.

Significant amounts of the money pouring into Theranos came from billionaire investors, including media baron Rupert Murdoch, Walmart's Walton family, the DeVos family that included former U.S. Education Secretary Becky DeVos, Mexico business mogul Carlos Slim and former Oracle CEO Larry Ellison.

Some of those investors, as well some of Theranos' former board members, are expected to testify during the trial presided over by U.S. District Judge Edward Davila.

Holmes may take the witness stand, based on court documents filed leading up to the trial. If she does, her lawyers have indicated in recently unsealed filings that she will testify that some of her statements and actions while running Theranos were the result of “intimate partner abuse” inflicted by the company’s chief operating officer and her secret lover, Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani, who faces multiple fraud charges in a separate trial scheduled to begin next year.

“That will be extraordinary,” predicted Auletta, who observed and interviewed Holmes and Balwani together on multiple occasions while he was writing his profile. “My impression was she was the dominant one in that relationship. If she started a sentence, he would wait for her to finish it."

Balwani's lawyer has denied Holmes' allegations.

It remains to be seen if the license plate on the car that Balwani used to drive to Theranos' former headquarters will be become part of the evidence submitted during the trial. It read: “VDVICI," an abbreviation for the triumphant words Julius Caesar is supposed to have once written to the Roman Senate, “veni, vidi, vici" — Latin for “I came, I saw, I conquered."

Explainer | Theranos: The Rise And Fall Of A Silicon Valley Healthcare Tech Start-up 

Moneycontrol 07 September, 2021 - 03:06am

You are using an outdated browser. Please upgrade your browser to improve your experience and security.

Diversify your portfolio by investing in Global brands.

Pre-configured baskets of stocks & ETFs that you can invest in with a single click. Developed by hedge funds, global asset management companies, experienced wealth management firms and portfolio managers.

The new age digital currency to diversify a portfolio.

Visit this section to access live price and charts.

Learn and stay informed about cryptocurrency in India.

Fundamental, Stock Ideas, Multibaggers & Insights

Stock & Index F&O Trading Calls & Market Analysis

Positional and Intraday Trading Calls basis Noiseless Chart

Technical Call, Trading Calls & Insights

Commodity Trading Calls & Market Analysis

Currency Derivatives Trading Calls & Insights

Options Trading Advice and Market Analysis

Model portfolios, Investment Ideas, Guru Screens and Much More

Proprietary system driven Rule Based Trading calls

Curated markets data, exclusive trading recommendations, Independent equity analysis & actionable investment ideas

Curated markets data, exclusive trading recommendations, Independent equity analysis & actionable investment ideas

Details stock report and investment recommendation

Set price, volume and news alerts

She once aspired to be the next Steve Jobs, but Elizabeth Holmes, founder of the Silicon Valley healthcare start-up Theranos, is facing trial on charges of wire fraud and conspiracy.

Jury selection was completed last week. The jury of seven men and five women were reportedly sworn in on Thursday and the trial will start on Wednesday, 8 September.

Theranos’ former president and chief operating officer Ramesh ‘Sunny’ Balwani is to be tried separately on the same charges, with the proceedings set to start in January.

Moneycontrol, using information available on the Internet and recent news reports from the US, chronicles Theranos’ spectacular rise and precipitous fall. 

Holmes, now 37, dropped out of Stanford University to found in 2003 the Palo Alto, California-based blood testing start-up Theranos, which she went on to claim, had developed a portable device called the Edison that could test a drop of blood for myriad ailments. She earned the sobriquet “the next Steve Jobs,” a label she encouraged with her description of the Edison as the “iPod of healthcare technology” and sporting the turtleneck sweaters favoured by the founder of Apple Inc.

Holmes, born to a mother who worked as a Congressional committee aide and a father who worked for Enron Corp., the power company brought down by scandal, was so inspired by Apple gadgets that she reportedly poached designers from the company to work on the Edison.

Balwani, 56, born in Pakistan to a Hindu family that moved to India and then to the US, joined Theranos in 2009 and rose to become president and COO.  He studied information systems at the University of Texas at Austin and received an MBA from the University of California Berkeley. Balwani and Holmes were involved in a romantic relationship they kept secret from investors in the company.

The name (Holmes originally called it Real Cures) was coined from the words ‘therapy’ and ‘diagnosis’ and the company founded in 2003 claimed that the device it invented, the Edison, would revolutionise traditional blood testing; all it would require was a drop of blood to test for scores of medical conditions in convenient locations like pharmacies and groceries, and would provide an early diagnosis.

Many investors and eminent people were impressed enough – perhaps also swayed by the flattering write-ups that Holmes received in mainstream business publications – to back it with funding and by joining its board of directors. At the peak of its valuation, after a decade of fund-raising to the tune of $700 million, Theranos was estimated to be worth $10 billion before its fortunes started going downhill around 2015.

The net worth of Holmes, once known as the world’s youngest female billionaire, reportedly fell to zero by June 2016 from $4.5 billion. In 2018, the company was closed down.

Oracle Corp. founder Larry Ellison, Tim Draper of venture capital firm Draper Fisher Jurvetson, the Walton family that controls Wal-Mart Stores Inc., media baron Rupert Murdoch, and the family of former US secretary of education Betsy DeVos were reportedly among the investors in Theranos. Members of a South African diamond family and Mexican tycoon Carlos Slim also reportedly risk big losses.

Late economist and businessman George Shultz, who served in several Republican administrations, former defence secretary General Jim Mattis, and former secretary of state Henry Kissinger served on the company’s board of directors, among others.

According to the Columbia Journalism Review, Theranos was undone by increasing scepticism about its claims and some dogged investigative journalism, especially by John Carreyrou, who published a series of articles about the company  in the Wall Street Journal starting in 2015, and authored a book about it called  Bad Blood.

“Elizabeth and her henchmen pulled out all the stops to try to keep me from reporting what I’d discovered,” Carreyrou was quoted as saying in Bad Blood: The Final Chapter, a new podcast linked to the trial. “They had my sources followed by private investigators… They threatened doctors who had spoken to me and tried to get them to recant.”

In 2015, the Wall Street Journal published a report based on whistle-blower accounts and data that showed the Edison technology operated inconsistently, and that tests were being done on traditional lab equipment behind closed doors.

Holmes and Balwani are being charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and for allegedly engaging “in a multi-million-dollar scheme to defraud investors, and a separate scheme to defraud doctors and patients”, according to the indictment quoted in news reports. One of the most closely watched trials in the Silicon Valley, the trial in a federal court in San Jose could last longer than three months, after the opening arguments on September 8.

Balwani faces the same charges as Holmes.

Up to 20 years in prison and a $3 million fine.

Lawyers for Holmes have indicated they may argue that her mental health was impaired by “a decade-long campaign of psychological abuse” by Balwani, according to the Al-Jazeera website.

A jury consultant, Rachel York Colangelo of Magna Legal Services, was quoted by Al-Jazeera as saying that success for Holmes, who gave birth in July to a child may hinge on how well the defence team can reduce her from a media celebrity to a regular person.

“She needs people to see her as a vulnerable young woman under the control or influence of her alleged abuser, not as this cunning, manipulating person,” York said.

Business Stories