- The fraud trial of Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes has concluded its fourth week.
- Witnesses included Theranos’ former lab director and an ex-contractor scientist.
- Here’s everything that happened in the trial in its fourth week.
“I feel really uncomfortable with what is happening right now in this company”
Former Theranos lab director Adam Rosendorff continued his testimony this week, telling the jury that Theranos had no formal proficiency testing protocol, according to The New York Times. He added that he was simply given “lip service” when he raised this issue in 2014 with Holmes, former COO and President Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani, and former vice president Daniel Young.
“Every time we got a physician complaint, every time our QC [quality control] would fail, every time we had a spate of anomalous results, it raised great concerns to me about the accuracy of the testing process,” he said, according to the Times.
In one email to Christian Holmes, Elizabeth’s brother who also worked at Theranos, Rosendorff wrote, “This is not a question of interpreting results—this is a question of the reliability and accuracy of the result…The most constructive thing at this point is to offer reliable and robust assays, not to spin.”
In November 2014, Rosendorff emailed Elizabeth Holmes asking to be removed as Theranos’ Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments lab director.
“I feel really uncomfortable with what is happening right now in this company,” he wrote, according to the Times. “I am feeling pressured to vouch for results that I cannot be confident in.”
In response, Holmes wrote, “How sad and disappointing to see this from you. Outside of the fact you’ve never emailed me on any concerns you allude to there before but now email this, you know from every conversation we’ve ever had together how fundamental it is to all of us for you or any other employee never to do anything you’re not completely confident in.”
Pharmaceutical firm couldn’t “comprehensively validate” Theranos’ test results, witness says
On Wednesday, prosecutors called Victoria Sung, a scientist who worked at biopharmaceutical company Celgene, which had a contract with Theranos. Sung said Theranos’ tests sometimes produced results that had a lot of variability or were simply unusable, according to the Times. Sung testified that her company was never able to “comprehensively validate” Theranos’ tests. Holmes allegedly told investors that pharmaceutical companies had validated Theranos’ technology. In a 2012 email shown in court, Sung told Holmes that Celgene would “simply wait until your next-gen machines are ready and then deploy them.”
How Theranos prepared for inspections, according to emails
In a January 2013 email shown in court, Holmes discussed preparations for an upcoming visit from state inspectors.
“Let me know if the path for walking the auditors in and downstairs has been cemented so we avoid areas that cannot be accessed, and what that path is,” she wrote, according to Ars Technica.
Rosendorff also testified that Balwani had instructed staff not to enter or exit the Normandy lab, where Theranos’ testing devices were kept, while the inspectors visited.
Holmes’ notes to herself are leaked
In 2015, Holmes wrote notes to herself about things like “becoming Steve Jobs” and “having nothing to hide” when Theranos’ testing issues came to light, according to CNBC, which obtained the notes.
You can catch up on Week 1 here, Week 2 here, and Week 3 here. You can read how Holmes wound up on trial here and see the list of potential witnesses here. Everything else you need to know about the case is here.