Theranos is being accused of running fake tests using outside lab gear

Elizabeth HolmesElizabeth Holmes, founder and CEO of Theranos, speaks at the Wall Street Journal Digital Live (WSJDLive) conference at the Montage hotel in Laguna Beach, California, October 21, 2015.REUTERS/Mike Blake

New court filings allege that Theranos used a shell company to purchase commercially available lab equipment and faked blood tests in presentations with prospective investors and business partners, The Wall Street Journal reported Friday.

The documents were filed as part of Partner Fund Management’s lawsuit against the blood-testing company.

Before 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.

Theranos said in a statement:

This is a one-sided filing by one party to litigation, and we will respond at the appropriate time in the appropriate forum. We disagree with much of what PFM alleges in its complaint. This is not, however, the time or place to contest their mischaracterizations of the record. We will litigate this case in court, where it belongs. What we will say now is that the items on which PFM focuses have nothing to do with why PFM invested, and they amount to a repackaging of allegations the media have already reported for nearly two years.”

Read the full Wall Street Journal story here.

Partner Fund originally sued Theranos in October 2016, claiming the company had engaged in securities fraud. The firm had invested $96.1 million in Theranos in 2014.

It’s been a busy week for Theranos.

  • On Monday, 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 Tuesday, 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.

Theranos has been under fire since October 2015 after the Journal published an investigationthat 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.

The company faces 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.”

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