Theranos lays off 40% of remaining staff

Embattled blood testing start-up Theranos said Friday it was laying off 155 employees, or about 40% of its remaining staff.

After months of regulatory setbacks and scrutiny, the Silicon Valley company will continue with just 220 employees, who will work on bringing an experimental device called the miniLab to market, the company said.

Only two years ago, Theranos was valued at $9 billion, based on founder Elizabeth Holmes’ claims that her technology named Edison could perform multiple lab tests inexpensively using just a drop of blood.

Last year, after finding multiple violations, federal regulators banned Holmes from operating or owning a medical lab for two years.

The ban had followed news in May that Theranos was retracting the results of tens of thousands of blood tests that doctors depended on to care for patients.

The company closed its labs and remaining consumer testing sites in October, laying off 340 employees. It now faces multiple lawsuits from patients and investors. 

The company has appealed the federal sanctions. Theranos says it disputes the allegations in the lawsuits and plans “to fight them vigorously.”

Melody.petersen@latimes.com

Follow @melodypetersen on Twitter

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UPDATES:

5:40 p.m.: This article has been updated with company comment.

This article was originally published at 2:15 p.m.

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