Embattled Theranos Gets a New Landlord
1/5/2017 6:19:23 AM
January 5, 2017
By Alex Keown, BioSpace.com Breaking News Staff
PALO ALTO, Calif. – Embattled biotech Theranos has a new landlord. Los Angeles-based Kilroy Realty Corp. acquired two buildings in Palo Alto’s Stanford Research Park, which includes one fully occupied by Theranos, the San Francisco Business Times reported this morning.
The properties were initially owned by Stanford University, which is where founder Elizabeth Holmes attended until she was 19, when she dropped out to found Theranos. Kilroy acquired the two properties for $130 million, which worked out to about $850 per square foot. The two buildings total about 152,000 square feet, the Times said. Theranos occupies the larger building of the two acquired by Kilroy. The two-story building provides Theranos 116,000 square feet of space.
Theranos was once flush with cash. At its peak it was valued at about $9 billion. However, the fortunes of the company fell when its blood-testing technology first came under scrutiny by the Wall Street Journal and then later by other publications for lack of efficacy.
The company is also facing multiple lawsuits, including a $140 million lawsuit filed by former partner Walgreens and a lawsuit filed by a Bay Area hedge fund that alleged the biotech company duped investors about the efficacy of its products in order to attract investments of nearly $100 million. Theranos is also the subject of a criminal investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice with investigations centering on whether or not Theranos and its executives misled investors as to the efficacy of its blood-testing products.
In October, the company announced it was shutting down all clinical labs and wellness centers, which resulted in layoffs of about 40 percent of its staff.
Since its blood testing technologies have failed, Holmes pivoted the focus of Theranos to the development of a portable laboratory dubbed Edison, which is expected to be able to run a multitude of tests using miniaturized laboratory robotics.
This month, Theranos will disband its board of counselors as part of an ongoing evolution and consolidation of the embattled company’s “corporate advisory framework,” Theranos said. The Theranos Board of Counselors, initiated last year, largely consisted of members with strong political and government ties, including former U.S. Secretaries of State Henry Kissinger and George Schultz and former U.S. Sen. Sam Nunn. Theranos created the board of counselors last year after it was roundly criticized for having a board made up of individuals with political backgrounds, but not scientific ones. The counselors’ role was to provide advice to the five members of the company board of directors, which was called the board of governors.
In December, the company tapped several new leaders with extensive backgrounds in the biotech world, including John McChesney who has experience with medical device development.
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