Embattled blood-testing company Theranos will dissolve

Elizabeth Holmes founded now-embattled Theranos in 2003

Theranos, the company that claimed it could perform a vast array of tests from a single pinprick of blood, is officially dissolving.

It also added Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes has settled a shareholder lawsuit in July that was created to recover whatever can be salvaged from the firm.

Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes and former president Ramesh Balwani are facing criminal charges of wire fraud. Starting in a basement located a few blocks away from campus, Holmes transformed her company to be worth over $1 billion in seven years time.

Soon after she devoted herself full time to her company, Holmes attracted a number of key investors (including Larry Ellison and Draper Fisher Jurvetson) and high-profile board members (including former U.S. Secretaries of State Henry Kissinger and George Schultz, and former U.S. Senators William Frist and Sam Nunn).

Holmes and Balwani in March were also charged by the Securities and Exchange Commission with "massive fraud".

The Wall Street Journal, which reported the initial explosive allegations against Theranos, now reports that the firm will dissolve. As Carreyrou's reportage showed, Theranos's supposedly revolutionary blood-testing processes-which involved mere drops of blood rather than the traditional vials-were slow, inaccurate and unreliable. Theranos will begin its dissolution proceedings on September 10. It may take up to a year to have everything settled, but the company's employees worked for the last time on August 31. The story raised concerns about the accuracy of Theranos' blood-testing technology, which put patients at risk of having conditions either misdiagnosed or ignored. Her bold talk and black turtlenecks drew comparisons to Steve Jobs.

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The Journal's investigation marked the beginning of the end of Theranos.

Holmes and the company settled the SEC's allegations. Balwani is fighting the charges.

Theranos is now negotiating with Fortress to keep part of its remaining cash to pay off other investors. Theranos didn't respond for a request to comment outside regular business hours.

Theranos, founded in 2003 by a then 19-year-old, wide-eyed Elizabeth Holmes, the Stanford drop-out who everyone believed could change the world.

Information for this article was contributed by staff members of The Associated Press, by Jeff Sutherland of Bloomberg News and by Reed Ableson of The New York Times.

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