Elizabeth Holmes was poised to become the next college-dropout-turned-tech-billionaire. But there was only one problem: Her technology didn’t work.
Holmes, the founder of the blood-testing company Theranos, will now finally stand trial for allegedly defrauding doctors, patients, and investors. She and her business partner and ex-boyfriend, Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani, were indicted by a federal grand jury in June 2018. The trial was originally scheduled for summer 2020, but was postponed multiple times because of the coronavirus pandemic and Holmes’ pregnancy.
Holmes rose to prominence in the mid-2010s after promising revolutionary machines that could run multiple cheap, quick diagnostic tests with just a single drop of blood. At its peak, Theranos was valued at a stunning $9 billion. But serious doubts about the company swelled after the Wall Street Journal published a series of stories detailing problems with the company’s technology. Theranos was investigated by multiple federal agencies, and by September 2018, it announced that it was shutting down.
With jury selection in the trial beginning Tuesday, STAT has put together a video timeline of how this biotech unicorn fell spectacularly from grace.