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January 11, 2017

Theranos fires another 155 employees in a bid to survive

Further restructuring at blood testing company Theranos: another 155 employees will be fired. That leaves Theranos with a core team of 220 professionals, according to a press release. Last October, Theranos closed its testing labs and fired about 340 workers.

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Theranos announced in a short press statement further re-engineering of the company’s operations as it works towards commercialization of the miniLab testing platform and its related technologies. In the streamlined organization, teams have been aligned to meet product development, regulatory and commercial milestones.

As a result, the company has identified a core team of 220 professionals to execute on its business plans, and informed 155 employees that their positions have been eliminated. This difficult decision should allow Theranos to marshal its resources most efficiently and effectively.

The restructuring follows a period of significant change at the company that has included the building out of its executive team with substantial additional regulatory, compliance and operational expertise, the statement concludes.

Negative media attention

Once applauded as a potentially revolutionary company in the medical testing industry, Theranos has been under a magnifying glass for well over a year after negative media publications about its simple, innovative and cheap blood testing products. Theranos also promoted its blood testing products as beeing much less invasive as traditional methods and with much faster results.

The October restructuring  – closing down the clinical labs and Theranos Wellness Centers – followed after months of run-ins with regulators and questions about whether its products work. The Palo Alto, California-based startup will now focus on developing what it says is its next-generation testing device, miniLab, Chief Executive Officer Elizabeth Holmes said in a statement posted on their website.

Focus on MiniLab

‘We will return our undivided attention to our miniLab platform,’ Theranos’CEO Elizabeth Holmes said in October. ‘Our ultimate goal is to commercialize miniaturized, automated laboratories capable of small-volume sample testing, with an emphasis on vulnerable patient populations, including oncology, pediatrics, and intensive care. We have a new executive team leading our work toward obtaining FDA clearances, building commercial partnerships, and pursuing publications in scientific journals.’

Theranos also created a “new executive team,” according to the statement. Holmes will remain as CEO, said a representative for the company. Theranos announced last May that it would restructure the organisation with dedicated corporate divisions for Technology and Clinical Operations. Since last april Theranos also announced a new medical advisory board.  In May Sunny Balwani, the company’s president and chief operating officer, annaunced he would step down and retire amid growing controversy.

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