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Elizabeth Holmes Trial: Former Product Manager Explains Shortcuts Due to Device Failure

Testimony from former Theranos Inc. product manager in San Jose, Calif.-Elizabeth Holmes criminal fraud trial highlights the competition of startups for court investors and business partners and the shortcuts taken when blood testing equipment broke down. I guessed.

Daniel Edrin testified over two days about the five years he spent in Theranos, starting with hiring by Christian Holmes, a brother of Holmes, a friend of Duke University. He stayed until December 2016, a year after the Wall Street Journal began reporting on Theranos technology issues.

Edrin is the 15th witness to run for Holmes’ trial, and prosecutors will prove that she has deceived patients and investors about what the Theranos finger-stab blood tester can achieve. It is said.

Edrin explained to the jury how some of his work included a tour of the company’s headquarters and a demonstration of Theranos blood testing equipment to key visitors, including investors. Did.

These tours also included following the path Holmes scripted and using partitions to hide certain Theranos devices. In one example, he remembered being asked to bring 10 to 15 Theranos machines into the room next to the lab and set them up as if they were in use.

If the live demonstration of Theranos devices didn’t go as planned, the company had some backstops. Blood is often taken from a finger puncture wound in one room where the device and visitor are located, but then tested in Theranos labs.

Also, there is something called a “demo application” on the machine that prevents you from seeing an error even if the device screen isn’t working. It is often installed on the machine that the guest sees.

During the June 2013 demonstration, he said blood tests had been performed in both New York and California laboratories during the demonstration. The results were different, he said, and the jury saw an email discussing what to do.

“The discrepancy is a problem. We need to see if we can fix it,” Holmes wrote to the staff by email.

Daniel Young, a high-level employee of Theranos, asked Edlin to change the scope of the two results. These are the numbers given as benchmarks and allow patients to know if the results of a particular test are higher or lower than normal.

Elizabeth Holmes, Central, arrived in federal court in San Jose, California on Tuesday.


Photo:

David Paul Morris / Bloomberg News

In response to a question from the prosecutor, Edrin said the changes made what seemed to be poor in the test look normal.

Edlin’s work at Theranos was extensive, including helping companies implement test centers.

Walgreens Boots Alliance Ltd

We run our stores and work with Theranos’ marketing and public relations departments. He testified that at some point all six of Duke’s friends were working for the company.

Before Theranos began testing patients at Walgreens, he was preparing to launch a website. The jury saw an email sent by a law firm specializing in food and drug law, laying out a page of changes that Theranos proposed to make in response to the lofty allegations it plans to make.

They included draining the water, saying that Theranos technology was “more accurate,” “faster, easier,” and had “the highest level of accuracy.” They also demanded proof of the claim that Theranos had “unprecedented speed and accuracy” and used a “1/1,000” size of a typical blood draw.

Edrin also helped manage the relationship between Theranos and the US Department of Defense. He testified that he would like to investigate the company’s devices to see if they could be used in combat conditions.

After years of contact with military personnel, Edrin said the Theranos device had never been deployed for use by soldiers. Prosecutors allege that Mr Holmes lied to investors about building a beneficial relationship with the military.

At some point, Edrin testified and the Pentagon asked how the device works at high temperatures. This is required to use the device in the field. Edrin said the Theranos Edison device needed to be in a room between 72 and 82 degrees Celsius and was likely to fail in areas like Africa where military use was being discussed.

Edrin testified that one of the reasons Holmes gave him one of the reasons the device wasn’t deployed by the military was that resources were directed to the launch of Walgreens.

US Federal Attorney John Bostic asked if Mr Holmes had ever told him that the failure to launch in the army was due to technical restrictions on Theranos’ equipment.

“She didn’t tell me that,” he said.

In his last year in Theranos, Edrin reported directly to Holmes and spoke to her daily. “She was really always in the office,” he said, “early morning to late night,” including weekends.

He repeated testimony from other Theranos staff that company information remained siled. “I was able to ask for information I needed to know in connection with the work I was doing,” he said in court.

Unlike other ex-employees who took the stand, Edrin did not testify about concerns about Theranos most of the time he worked there.

Still, partly because he attended business school, and a year after the journal’s coverage, “based on what I saw, I was able to stand behind the claims the company was making about technology. I did. “

Theranos and Elizabeth Holmes Trial

Write in Saralandazzo sara.randazzo@wsj.com

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Elizabeth Holmes Trial: Former Product Manager Explains Shortcuts Due to Device Failure

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