Victoria Sung testified about speaking to Theranos in 2009 about helping the biopharmaceutical company in a drug trial for a medication in development to treat anemia. She said that the small, compact size of the Theranos devices appealed to her, the Wall Street Journal reports.
Sung alleged that Celgene vetted the Theranos technology against “gold-standard” blood testing partners and did not have confidence in the results. She testified that the results provided by Theranos didn’t match to the degree that Celgene would have preferred and were “out of range,” The Verge reports. Sung told assistant U.S. attorney Robert Leach that she did not validate the Theranos technology.
In an April 2012 email, the Celgene scientist informed Theranos and CEO Elizabeth Holmes that the company would no longer be working with Theranos until its next-generation device was ready for use.
“We had decided we would rather stick with the less variability in the results,” Sung testified, WSJ reports.
Former Theranos scientist Adam Rosendorff took the stand for a third day to continue his cross-examination from Holmes’ defense team. Rosendorff testified to a lab inspection by the California Department of Public Health when Theranos employees were allegedly instructed not to enter the “Normandy” lab, which is where the company kept its Edison devices, The Verge reports. He also said that bulletin boards were covered with paper in a New York inspection so the inspectors couldn’t see what was on them.
Theranos’ machines underwent various audits during its time, and Rosendorff alleged that some of the results showed minor deficiencies, which upset both Holmes and former president and COO Sunny Balwani.
Rosendorff is expected to continue his testimony on Friday.
Holmes and Theranos were once believed to be the next shining stars of Silicon Valley. Holmes claimed her company would revolutionize blood testing with technology that could analyze tiny amounts of blood and inked retail partnerships with Walgreens and Safeway. Forbes in 2015 recognized Holmes as America’s richest self-made woman based on Theranos’ multibillion-dollar valuation at the time.
Investigative reporting soon dismantled Holmes’ technological claims, raising questions about whether she and others misled investors. The downward spiral culminated in the 2018 shutdown of the company, with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission accusing Holmes and Balwani of what it described as a “massive fraud.”
Holmes, along with Balwani, faces 10 counts of wire fraud and two counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud over allegations that she knowingly misled investors by claiming Theranos technology could revolutionize blood testing. They have both pleaded not guilty to all charges.
Balwani’s trial is expected to follow the Holmes trial.