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

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Theranos Inc. Elizabeth Holmes, the founder of Elizabeth Holmes, will arrive in federal court in San Jose, California on Wednesday, October 6, 2021.

David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Images

San Jose, California. — As Theranos’ problems increased in 2014, blood testing startups hired a dermatologist who was not accredited by the laboratory’s science or pathology board and became the head of the laboratory.

Sunil Dhawan was temporarily played by Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani, the company’s president, according to court testimony on Thursday in a criminal trial of Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes.

Dawan was a longtime dermatologist at Balwani. He was called as a witness by a prosecutor trying to prove that Holmes had billed millions of dollars from investors, deliberately misleading patients and doctors about the company’s blood testing technology. Faced with a 12-count count of wire fraud and plots, Holmes pleaded not guilty.

Dawan testified that Barwani, who was in a romantic relationship with Holmes at the time, said, “The promise of time is negligible.” In an email in November 2014, Balwani also said, “This will be primarily an on-call consulting role,” said Dawan, who met the federal and state requirements to become a lab director. ..

In a court in San Jose, US Federal Attorney Jeff Schenck asked Dawan, “Did he explain to you what Theranos did?”

In response, Dawan said he had searched Google to learn about Theranos technology, adding that he “had a short conversation about it.”

Dawan testified that he went to the lab only twice between November 2014 and the summer of 2015, working a total of 5-10 hours. He told the jury that he had never met an employee, doctor or patient.

Dawan was hired to replace Adam Rosendorf, who resigned in 2014, amid growing dissatisfaction with blood test inaccuracies and false results. Unlike Dawan, Rosendorf was a board-certified pathologist who spent every day in the lab.

Schenck went on to say, “Have you never talked to a Theranos employee who worked in the lab?”

“I don’t remember the conversation during that period,” Dawan said.

Dawan added that he did not meet Holmes until September 2015. He told the jury that he became more involved in the company that month as regulators planned to audit the institute.

In an interrogation, Holmes’ representative defense lawyer, Lance Wade, asked Dawan about the importance of Balwani in the company.

“Did you understand that he was one of the company’s top two executives?” Wade asked.

“My assumption was that he was a top executive,” Dawan said.

“He was running the institute from an operational point of view, right?” Wade asked.

“I can’t comment on it because he wasn’t told he runs the lab, but I thought he was,” Dawan replied.

Balwani was charged with the same crime as Holmes. He has also been acquitted and will be tried separately next year. Dawan’s testimony continues on Friday.

Theranos Inc. Sunny Balwani, former president and chief operating officer of the company, will leave the federal court in San Jose, California on October 2, 2019.

Michael Short | Bloomberg | Getty Images

“Actual magic”

Earlier Thursday, former Walgreens senior executive Nimesh Javeli ran for office.

Walgreens’ goal in the partnership with Theranos was to enable customers to get lab results with just a few drops of blood, Jhaveri said. Providing a more efficient and less painful process than traditional labs is “extraordinary,” Javeli said.

“It was changing the lab environment,” Jhaveri said. “It was a real magic to need less blood. It was very intriguing to us at Walgreens.”

Walgreens has invested $ 140 million in a failed company. Clinics with blood testing technology have been deployed in 40 drugstores in Arizona and one in California. In August 2014, a year after the partnership, Walgreens reduced its deployment target of 500 Theranos Wellness Centers to 200.

“Cost was an obstacle, training team members was an obstacle, and hiring a phlebotomist was an obstacle,” said Jhaveri. “The entire operating model wasn’t complete, so we decided to reduce it.”

Jhaveri told Balwani that if he plans to expand, he needs to make a detailed plan to improve the patient’s experience. Under cross-examination, Jabelli told the jury that he had minimal contact with Holmes and had met her only a few times.

Walgreens said it was “a step back” when John Carreyrou, a former Wall Street Journal reporter, first broke the story of Theranos misleading customers and investors about test accuracy. rice field. In 2016, Walgreens began unplugging the Theranos service in its drugstore.

look: Former employee and patient testify at Elizabeth Holmes trial

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

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