- REUTERS/Carlo Allegri
Theranos just made another major leadership change.
The embattled blood-testing company recruited a technology advisory board, which will serve alongside Theranos’ existing scientific and medical advisory board. Theranos also recently revamped its boards of directors and counselors, and notable names including Henry Kissinger, George Shultz, and James Mattis have left the board.
The newly-formed board of eight will be responsible for reviewing the company’s technology initiatives, helping Theranos present its technology in peer-reviewed papers and presentations, and determining which technologies Theranos should develop. Channing Robertson, one of the new board leaders, said in a release that all the members had a chance to check out the company’s technology and chat with Theranos researchers before signing on.
The move is part of Theranos’ pivot into focusing solely on developing its technology instead of simultaneously operating clinical laboratories. The end goal? Getting its miniLab machine (which only requires a small amount of blood to function) in places that have difficulties sending full blood samples to a traditional, full-blown clinical lab operation. The technology debuted in August as part of Theranos’ attempt to be what Holmes called a “decentralized” lab, meaning the test could be processed without needing to be shipped back to a brick-and-mortar lab.
On January 6, Theranos laid off 41% of its staff, cutting another 155 people in addition to the 340 people the company let go in October after it closed its clinical labs. The remaining staff are working on the company’s miniLab technology.
Here are the members of the new technology advisory board:
Channing Robertson, engineering professor emeritus, Stanford University Howie Rosen, CEO, pharmaceutical company AcelRx Harvey Blanch, biochemical engineering professor at the University of California, Berkeley John Moalli, acting head of product at Theranos and a principal at the consulting group Exponent Allen Northrup, a founder of the molecular diagnostics company Cepheid Clint Ostrander, former president of Kozio and management consultant and investor at Rosewood Advisors Norbert Pelc, chair, bioengineering department, Stanford University Mark Prausnitz, chemical and biomolecular engineering professor, Georgia Tech
Robertson and Rosen will be co-leading the board.
Theranos’ saga came into the spotlight in October 2015 after The Wall Street Journal published an investigation that questioned the accuracy of Theranos’ blood test. In 2016, Theranos’ northern California location was shut down, and Holmes was barred for two years from running a clinical lab, which Theranos has since appealed.
The company is now facing lawsuits from investors, patients, and its once partner Walgreens, which ended its relationship with Theranos in June 2016 and is accusing Theranos of breaching its contract. Theranos has said it will “respond vigorously to Walgreens’ unfounded allegations.”