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Theranos hired Sunny Balwani’s dermatologist as lab director in 2014


Elizabeth Holmes, the founder of Theranos Inc. arrives in San Jose on Wednesday, October 6, 2021.

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SAN JOSE, CALIF. — As Theranos’ troubles were mounting in 2014, the blood-testing start-up hired a dermatologist with no board certification in laboratory science or pathology to become the lab director.

The court heard testimony from Thursday’s trial. criminal trialSunil Dhawan (the founder of Theranos) was temporarily appointed by Ramesh Balwani to fill the role of Theranos President.

Balwani was Balwani’s dermatologist for many years. The prosecutors called Dhawan as a witness in their case against Holmes, who is trying to prove that he bilked investors out of millions and knowingly misled patients about his blood-testing technology. Holmes, facing 12 counts each of wire fraud or conspiracy, has pleaded no guilty.

Dhawan testified Balwani was in a relationship with Holmes when he told him, “The time commitment is very low.” Balwani, in an email to Dhawan in November 2014, also stated that it would be “mostly an on-call consultancy role.” Dhawan was able to meet federal and state requirements for lab director.

Jeff Schenk (an assistant U.S. Attorney) asked Dhawan: “Did He describe to you What Theranos did?”

Dhawan replied that he had searched. GoogleBalwani said that Theranos had given him information about his technology.

Dhawan stated that he worked five to ten hours a week between November 2014 to summer 2015. Dhawan told jurors that there was no one he had ever met with, whether they were doctors or employees.

Dhawan was recruited to replace Adam RosendorffAfter growing frustration over the inaccurate and false blood test results, he quit the job in 2014. Rosendorff, a pathologist board-certified by the Board of Certification who worked every day in the laboratory was different from Dhawan.

Schenk said, “There was never one time that you spoke with a Theranos employee working in the laboratory?”

Dhawan stated, “I can’t remember any conversation for that long.”

Dhawan also stated that Holmes wasn’t his first meeting until September 2015. Jurors were told by Dhawan that he was more involved in the company during September 2015, when regulators intended to audit it.

Lance Wade (defense attorney representing Holmes) asked Dhawan questions about Balwani’s significance at the company during cross-examination.

You understood that he was the chief executive of the company. Wade was curious.

Dhawan explained, “My assumption that he was an executive”

He was operating the laboratory, right?” Wade was curious.

Dhawan said, “I don’t know how to comment because I never was told that he ran the laboratory, but it was mine assumption that he was.”

Balwani, too, was accused of the same crimes that Holmes. Balwani also pleaded guilty, and he will stand trial separately in the next year. Dhawan continues to testify Friday.

Sunny Balwani was the former chief operating officer and president of Theranos Inc.

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“The real magic”

An earlier Thursday was a former WalgreensNimesh Javeri, a senior executive, took to the stage.

Jhaveri explained that Walgreens partnered with Theranos to make it possible for customers to receive their lab results in a matter of minutes. Jhaveri stated that it would be extraordinary to offer a faster and more painless process than traditional labs.

Jhaveri stated that it was altering the laboratory environment. It was actually less blood needed, which was what made it so fascinating to Walgreens.

Walgreens invested $140 millionThe company was eventually shut down. The clinics that used the blood-testing technology to detect cancer were introduced in 40 Arizona drugstores and one California pharmacy. Walgreens reduced its goal to roll out 500 Theranos wellness centres by 200 in August 2014. This was one year after the initial partnership.

Jhaveri stated that cost was an issue, as was training the team and hiring phlebotomists. We decided to decrease the operating model because it was insufficiently refined.

Jhaveri claimed that he said to Balwani that it was necessary to create a plan to enhance patient experience in order to expand. Jhaveri said that he was infrequently in touch with Holmes and had only met with Holmes two or three times.

Jhaveri stated that Walgreens made “a mistake” in reporting the Wall Street Journal story by John Carreyrou, a former Wall Street Journal reporter. He first reported on Theranos’s deceptive testing results to customers and investors. Walgreens stopped offering Theranos services in its drugstores starting 2016

WATCH: Former employees and patients testify in Elizabeth Holmes trial