Theranos tries for comeback with new execs, committee in charge of compliance

Sure, its founder and CEO has been banned from the business for two years. But Theranos isn’t giving up just yet.

On Thursday the beleaguered Palo Alto blood-testing company announced the hiring of two new executives and the creation of a new team, all dedicated to tackling regulatory issues, quality and compliance.

Theranos has brought in Dave Wurtz as regulatory and quality VP and Daniel Guggenheim as chief compliance officer. And the company created a Compliance and Quality Committee to advise executives and the board.

The move comes two weeks after U.S. regulators revoked Theranos’ license to operate its Newark lab because of unsafe practices and banned founder and CEO Elizabeth Holmes from the blood-testing business for two years. The sanctions came as a major blow to Theranos, and have left many speculating whether this may be the end of Holmes’ dream of finger-prick blood tests.

But the company’s news release Thursday was full of optimism. Among Wurtz’s listed job duties: marketing new products and obtaining FDA clearances.

Guggenheim, whose new responsibilities include improving Theranos’ compliance training and monitoring programs, wrote: “Theranos is committed to meeting the highest standards in its compliance practices. I am eager to start to build on the foundation that Theranos is making to be a best-in-class health care company.”

Theranos also received a public letter of support earlier this week from board member Dr. William Foege. In an op-ed published by The Hill, Foege expressed confidence in the company’s ability to grow under Holmes’ leadership.

Foege wrote he was part of a group of scientists that visited Theranos’ headquarters earlier this year and inspected the company’s data, technology and reports — even experiencing its signature finger-prick blood tests for themselves.

“Initially skeptical, that group of scientists came to realize the tremendous promise of Theranos’ technologies,” Foege wrote.

He added: “In my opinion, the very foundation of Theranos’ inventions — and its hundreds of patents — is credible. The company’s intellectual property is clearly robust, and many potential partners still request meetings to learn more about the technologies. Under the leadership of Elizabeth Holmes, the company will continue to grow and develop the business. Small sample testing is as inevitable as the shrinking of computers from room-size machines to the tiny footprint of a smart phone.”

Photo: Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes in 2014. (Karl Mondon/Bay Area News Group)


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  • @nsmartinworld

    Will Theranos do better with an adult in charge?

    • Bobby

      No, they still don’t have a product and probably never will. As one article put it, “The marketing is ahead of the science”. You can sell an idea for only so long.