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Theranos is close to reaching a settlement with its former biggest partner, the Wall Street Journal reports. The embattled lab-test startup told investors that it had reached an “agreement in principle” with Walgreens, which could mean Theranos is on the hook to pay Walgreens less than $30 million, according to Journal reporter Christopher Weaver.
Walgreens and Theranos declined to comment.
In November, Walgreens filed a $140 million lawsuit against Theranos, accusing Theranos of a breach of contract. Walgreens ended its relationship with Theranos in June 2016. It had operated Theranos Wellness Centers, where people could go have their blood tested in the company’s stores.
Until October 2016, Theranos’s business model was based around the idea that it ran blood tests using proprietary technology that requires only a small amount of blood. Since then, the company has pivoted to focus solely on the company’s miniLab technology.
A settlement with Walgreens would be the last in a series of major settlements between Theranos and investors, as well as the state of Arizona.
- On April 17, Theranos said that it had settled up with Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the government agency responsible for regulating blood-testing labs. As part of the settlement, Theranos has to pay $30,000, and the company won’t be able to own or operate a clinical lab within the next two years. In return, the CMS is no longer revoking Theranos’s CLIA certification, which is needed to run a blood-testing lab. On April 18, Theranos agreed to pay Arizona $4.65 million to refund anyone who paid to take one of Theranos’s blood tests, and will also pay $225,000 to cover civil penalties and attorneys’ fees. And on May 1, Theranos settled two lawsuits with Partner Fund Management, a hedge fund that invested $96.1 million in the company.
Theranos has been under fire since October 2015 after the Journal published an investigation that questioned the accuracy of its blood test. One of the company’s locations was shut down, and its founder – Elizabeth Holmes – was barred for two years from running a clinical lab.