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Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes and Vice President Joe Biden spoke on the importance of preventive medicine at a press event in Newark, CA. Image courtesy of Theranos.
The Silicon Valley-based blood testing company aims to market its tests, which only require a fingerprick's worth of blood, directly to consumers as well as influential insurance organizations, doctors, the government, and pharmacies.
Joe Biden provided a personal endorsement for the futuristic blood testing firm Theranos (Palo Alto, CA) in a visit to the firm's manufacturing facilities Thursday. Biden, whose eldest son Beau recently died from brain cancer, said that his family had "been a big consumer of healthcare" and that the healthcare system must change to become more empowering for patients.
Theranos, whose blood tests cost a fraction of traditional tests, represents the future, Biden said. "You are empowering people whether they live in a barrio or a mansion and allowing them to take control of their healthcare. The president and I share your vision that healthcare in the future will be based on preventive care."
"Talk about being insipired! This is inspiration, man," Biden quipped.
"This is the laboratory of the future," he said, contrasting it with traditional lab testing, which he described as "expensive, inconvenient, and disruptive to work schedules." "They are painful and bring discomfort," the Vice President added. "And a lot of people have phobias of needles."
Theranos Inc., a consumer healthcare technology startup, was once valued at $10 billion, and its leadership claimed it would revolutionize the blood-testing industry.
Based largely on the company's claims, Theranos reportedly raised roughly $724 million of capital from venture capitalists and private investors.
The technological breakthrough that CEO Elizabeth Holmes and former company president Ramesh Balwani touted was never demonstrated, and the assertions of Holmes and Balwani amounted to outright deceit.
The SEC charged Theranos, its founder and CEO Elizabeth Holmes, and its former President Ramesh "Sunny" Balwani with fraud.
Holmes lost control of the company, returned millions of shares, and was barred from serving as an officer or director of a public company for 10 years.
Theranos started shutting down its clinical labs and wellness centers in late 2016, finally ceasing operations in September of 2018.
By June 2016, Elizabeth Holmes' net worth reportedly dropped from $4.5 billion to nothing.