Skip to Content
Biotechnology and health

Theranos is shutting down

September 5, 2018

After a long, slow fall, the blood-testing company is officially dissolving.

Some background: In 2014, Theranos rocketed to public attention with its claims of a revolutionary blood-testing system. The next year, a Wall Street Journal investigation raised concerns about the validity of Theranos’s finger-prick diagnostic technology, prompting us to name it one of the biggest technology failures of 2015. Later government investigations revealed numerous problems with the startup. Earlier this year, CEO Elizabeth Holmes was charged with massive fraud by the US Securities and Exchange Commission, resulting in her stepping down from her leadership role.

The news: An e-mail to shareholders released by the Journal yesterday revealed that the end has finally come for Theranos. It will be formally dissolving and distributing its remaining capital to unsecured creditors.

The final number: In total, the company’s investors will have lost almost $1 billion.

Deep Dive

Biotechnology and health

What to know about this autumn’s covid vaccines

New variants will pose a challenge, but early signs suggest the shots will still boost antibody responses.

A biotech company says it put dopamine-making cells into people’s brains

The experiment to treat Parkinson’s is a critical early test of stem cells’ potential to tackle serious disease.

Tiny faux organs could crack the mystery of menstruation

Researchers are using organoids to unlock one of the human body’s most mysterious—and miraculous—processes.

How AI can help us understand how cells work—and help cure diseases

A virtual cell modeling system, powered by AI, will lead to breakthroughs in our understanding of diseases, argue the cofounders of the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative.

Stay connected

Illustration by Rose Wong

Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review

Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.

Thank you for submitting your email!

Explore more newsletters

It looks like something went wrong.

We’re having trouble saving your preferences. Try refreshing this page and updating them one more time. If you continue to get this message, reach out to us at with a list of newsletters you’d like to receive.