Lawyers for Holmes and former Theranos president Sunny Balwani used a hearing yesterday in federal court in Northern California to criticize the FDA for failing to preserve emails that they are requesting for their defense. Lance Wade, an attorney for Holmes, went as far as to claim that evidence had been destroyed, according to reports from CNBC and SiliconValley.com.
A lawyer for FDA, Jaclyn Martínez Resly, responded during the hearing with a more mundane explanation: corrupted computer files in a faulty email storage system.
Holmes and Theranos were once Silicon Valley darlings, with Holmes claiming that her company was set to revolutionize blood testing with technology that could analyze tiny amounts of blood. Forbes in 2015 even recognized Holmes as America’s richest self-made woman based on Theranos’ multibillion-dollar valuation at the time.
Investigative reporting, though, soon dismantled the claims Holmes was making about Theranos’ technology, raising questions about whether she and others had misled investors. The downward spiral culminated in the 2018 shutdown of the company, with the SEC criminally charging Holmes and Balwani over what it described as a “massive fraud.”
The story of Holmes and Theranos has become part of popular culture. A book by John Carreyrou, who investigated the company while at The Wall Street Journal, is set to become a movie. There’s also the HBO documentary “The Inventor: Out for Blood in Silicon Valley.”