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Famed Attorney Officially Cuts Ties With Theranos

11/22/2016 5:58:32 AM

Famed Attorney Officially Cuts Ties With Theranos November 22, 2016
By Alex Keown, Breaking News Staff

PALO ALTO, Calif. – A once fierce advocate for embattled Theranos has now ceased working with the company. David Boies, an attorney who has gone after critics of the biotech company such as the Wall Street Journal and whistleblower Tyler Schultz, is no longer representing the company, according to news reports.

Boies and Theranos parted ways after disagreeing about strategies to handle ongoing government investigations, the San Francisco Business Times reported this morning, citing a report in the Wall Street Journal. It is not yet known exactly what points the attorney and privately-held Theranos disagreed over.

In addition to serving as counsel for Theranos, Boies also holds a position on the company’s board of directors. While Boies has ended his legal work for Theranos, there has been no indication he has abdicated his board spot. Theranos has not made a comment on the high-profile departure.

While information on Boies’ departure is slim at the moment, Boies has a history of seeking to discredit critics of Theranos. Reports indicate he sought to squash the negative expose the Wall Street Journal wrote on Theranos last year—the article that started the unravelling of the company. He also allegedly sought to intimidate Schultz to find out who other unnamed sources used by the Wall Street Journal may have been. Schultz is the grandson of another Theranos board member, former U.S. Secretary of State George Schultz.
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The loss of Boies is another public relations blow to Theranos, which continues to face criticism over its failed technologies. The company is also facing multiple lawsuits, including a $140 million lawsuit filed by former partner Walgreens and another filed by a Bay Area hedge fund that alleged the biotech company duped investors about the efficacy of its products 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.

While the company faces those lawsuits, it has pivoted the focus of its business from its blood-testing technology to the development of a portable lab dubbed Edison, which is expected to run a multitude of tests using miniaturized laboratory robotics.

In October, Theranos shuttered its clinical labs and wellness centers in the wake of the failings of its blood-testing technology, as well as concern over violations of CLIA (Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments) standards at the lab. Those violations led to Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes being banned from operating a blood testing laboratory for two years. Also in October, Theranos laid off more than 300 employees.

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