Theranos Lab Chief Says He Found Blood-Testing Technology Didn’t Work

Theranos Inc.’s laboratory director in the company’s final years is expected to testify at founder Elizabeth Holmes’s criminal trial that the failed blood-testing startup’s leaders pushed back against his assessment that its technology wasn’t accurate enough to use.

Kingshuk Das’s comments, included in new court filings by federal prosecutors, represent his most extensive public remarks about the company. His interview in February with federal agents suggests the probe into Ms. Holmes remains active ahead of her July trial.

The U.S. attorney’s office in the Northern District of California accuses Ms. Holmes and Theranos’s former chief operating officer, Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani, of misleading investors and patients about the company’s technology, which purported to test for a range of health conditions with a single finger prick and a few drops of blood. The two have pleaded not guilty to criminal fraud, with Mr. Balwani set to face trial separately next January.

During an hourlong Feb. 1 interview recounted in a Tuesday court filing, Dr. Das told federal agents about his work with Theranos from December 2015 until he was laid off in June 2018, months before the company dissolved. By the time he became director of the startup’s Newark, Calif., lab, the facility was under scrutiny by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

Theranos was also facing public pressure after The Wall Street Journal revealed in late 2015 that the company ran few tests on its proprietary machines, which produced unreliable results, and instead performed most tests with commercial analyzers that it bought from other companies and sometimes altered.

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