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May 24, 2016

Theranos restructures, sees COO Sunny Balwani leave

Theranos, an American blood testing startup, last week said Sunny Balwani, the company’s president and chief operating officer, is stepping down and retiring.Balwani leaves of controversy concerning the reliability of the blood tests Theranos offers. Balwani has worked for Theranos since 2009. He was also a member of the board of directors of the company.

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Theranos did not say goodbye, it also welcomed three new board members. Among them  biotech veteran Fabrizio Bonanni. he other two — William Foege and Richard Kovacevich — will move over from Theranos’ board of counselors. Bonanni was executive vice-president for biofarmaceutical  company Amgen (California), before retiring in 2013.

Theranos has been subjected to a controversy ever since the Wall Street Journal questioned the reliability of the blood testing Theranos offers. These tests are widely used as a cheaper an quicker alternative for traditional blood tests. Not longer after the articles in the WSJ a research by the US Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services concluded Theranos’ Northern California lab was putting patients in ‘immediate jeopardy’. The lab hasn’t done any testing since.

Theranos has announced in a recent press release that it will restructure the organisation with dedicated corporate divisions for Technology and Clinical Operations. Balwani leaving Theranos has been the biggest change at the top since the Northern California lab was shut down in april, according to Business Insider. Since last april Theranos also announced a new medical advisory board.

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