Theranos to shut down: Investors lose US$1B

Blood-testing startup Theranos reportedly to dissolve

But Theranos' blood-testing machines weren't reliable, and the company itself relied on other companies' devices to run blood tests.

The Wall Street Journal reported late Tuesday that Theranos CEO David Taylor emailed shareholders to announce the blood-testing company will dissolve.

The announcement comes almost three months after Theranos founder and former chief exective Elizabeth Holmes and former chief operating officer Ramesh Balwani were charged with criminal fraud.

But Theranos came under scrutiny after the Journal published articles questioning its claims.

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Theranos's founder and chairman, Ms. Holmes, and her ex-boyfriend, Ramesh "Sunny" Balwani were indicted on nine counts of wire fraud and two counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud in June. Instead of the familiar needles, tourniquets, vials, and bandages of the past, Theranos offered a comprehensive blood test that required just a finger stick and a single drop of blood.

She carefully crafted her image as well, often wearing black turtleneck sweaters that led some in Silicon Valley to describe her as "the next Steve Jobs", a reference to the Apple founder.

After years of damning headlines, federal investigations, lawsuits, fines, infighting and desperate attempts to save the furniture, Elizabeth Holmes' Theranos is officially dead and buried.

In the email to shareholders, sent Tuesday, Theranos General Counsel and Chief Executive Officer David Taylor said the company is trying to negotiate a settlement with Fortress that would give the NY private-equity firm ownership of the company's patents but leave its remaining cash-estimated at about $5 million-for distribution to other unsecured creditors. That choice is preferable to any other option, including bankruptcy, as that would leave it unable to distribute any material assets to creditors, Taylor wrote.

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Investors poured almost $1 billion into Theranos and three former USA cabinet secretaries, two former United States senators, a retired admiral and a retired Marine Corps general joined its board.

At one point, the biotech company received a valuation of $9 billion, but Wall Street Journal investigative reporter John Carreyrou found that the company's claims of having new technology to radically change traditional medical testing that was cheaper and more efficient turned out to be lies.

As for its business outlook rating - how employees believe the company will fare in the next six months - Theranos has been on a slow dive for over a year. They also face allegations of wire fraud.

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