Theranos Caves To Critics, Agrees To Release Data On Its Blood Tests

Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes said the company will publish data disproving allegations made by the Wall Street Journal.

Theranos Caves To Critics, Agrees To Release Data On Its Blood Tests
[Photo: science photo via Shutterstock]

After weathering a severe bout of bad press, medical startup Theranos is embracing transparency: On Monday, CEO Elizabeth Holmes said the company will soon publish data that she claims will demonstrate the accuracy of Theranos blood tests. Following the publication of two critical articles in the Wall Street Journal last week, Theranos fell under heavy scrutiny, due to claims that its technology was only used for a limited number of tests, and that the results of its blood tests were unreliable.


“Data is a powerful thing because it speaks for itself,” Holmes said at a conference hosted by the Cleveland Clinic, where she announced Theranos’s plans to release data in support of its technology. The decision is a departure from what Holmes said last week at the WSJ.D Live conference, where she claimed the company’s top priority was to get FDA approval for its tests–not to make its data public.

“We were never against that,” she added. “I just always believed that as the FDA decision summaries came out one by one with our data, that actually that would be so much more transparent a model… But that’s okay, we can publish our data, and so we’re doing that.”

A Theranos spokeswoman told the New York Times that the data will pit the company’s technology against “reference testing methods,” and that results obtained from Theranos’s touted finger-prick blood samples would be compared to the results of standard blood tests. The company did not say when or how it will reveal the data.

During her appearance at the WSJ.D Live conference last week, Holmes disputed the claims made in the WSJ articles–to which the newspaper responded by saying it stood by the reportage of staffer John Carreyrou. Theranos followed up Holmes’s onstage comments with a detailed, systematic rebuttal to individual allegations made by the WSJ: In a blog post, the company called the WSJ‘s reporting inaccurate and repeatedly struck down claims of false advertising, alleging that Theranos had never said it conducted all its tests using the finger-prick blood samples.

[via The Verge]

About the author

Pavithra Mohan is an assistant editor for Fast Company Digital. Her writing has previously been featured in Gizmodo and Popular Science magazine.