On Monday, Elizabeth Holmes, founder of the blood test startup Theranos, tried to rebut a key prosecutor’s argument in her fraud case: she lied about her company’s work with pharmaceutical companies.
One of the most horrific evidence presented by prosecutors against Ms Holmes is that Theranos sent fake pharmaceutical company audit reports to investors. These reports featured drug manufacturers’ logos as proof that Theranos technology had been approved by them. Investors testified in litigation that the reports helped convince them to invest in Ms. Holmes’s startup.
But representatives from Pfizer and Schering-Pllow said their companies have never tested Theranos technology. (A Pfizer spokesman said the company had reached the opposite conclusion.) They also disapproved of adding their logos to reports.
At the Monday stand, Ms Holmes testified about the research Theranos conducted with Merck, AstraZeneca, Centocor, Bristol Myers Squibb and others in 2008 and 2009. One of the exhibitions presented internal documentation of the success of some of these early works and showed a map of about a dozen cities around the world where Theranos machines were used for research.
Kevin Downey, Mrs. Holmes’s attorney, also revealed what he called a peer-reviewed journal, which published the results of a study conducted by Theranos with Stanford University around this time. He did not name the magazine.
In each case, Ms Holmes understood that Theranos technology “works well,” she said. In some examples, Theranos received payment for their research work.
Throughout the trial, Ms Holmes’ defense team tried to prove that there was some truth in what Ms Holmes told investors.
“The reality of what happened at Theranos is much more complex than what you’ve heard about Elizabeth Holmes so far,” said Lance Wade, another attorney for Ms. Holmes, in his opening remarks ahead of the trial in September.