News

Elizabeth Holmes trial: Former Theranos project manager testifies no intent to deceive

Defense attorney raises questions surrounding presentation of blood-testing technology

Elizabeth Holmes, former CEO of Theranos, arrives at the federal courthouse in San Jose, Calif., on Oct. 1, 2021. Photo by Harika Maddala/Bay City News.

Elizabeth Holmes's defense team spent much of Wednesday trying to undo damaging testimony by former Theranos project manager Daniel Edlin.

Edlin reported directly to Holmes, the Theranos founder and CEO who is fighting 12 counts of wire fraud based on allegedly false and misleading statements to investors, doctors and patients about the capabilities of the company's blood-testing technology. The federal criminal trial in San Jose is now in its seventh week.

Defense attorney Kevin Downey hit a wide range of issues that came up in prosecutors' questioning of Edlin on Tuesday and last week.

Responding to an internal Theranos email suggesting that the technology was not suited for military use because the company's Edison machines would "shut down" if operated in the wide range of temperatures required, Downey introduced emails from Dr. Melissa Givens of the U.S. Africa Command in which she praised an Edison device tested in Cameroon, Uganda and South Sudan.

According to Givens' emails, the machine "seemed to function well in the environment" and she would propose additional funding to do more testing of Theranos technology.

What's local journalism worth to you?

Support Palo Alto Online for as little as $5/month.

Join

Downey also took aim at earlier testimony suggesting that Theranos used a bag of tricks to make it appear that the technology worked when giving demonstrations to interested investors and other guests.

Edlin previously said that during some demos, the fingerpick blood samples were placed in the small containers intended to be inserted in the Edison machines but were then taken to the company's on-site lab to be analyzed, rather than being run through the Edisons.

Prodded by Downey, Edlin explained that this method mimicked the process that would be used at the initial Walgreens rollout of Theranos testing, where the samples would be taken by fingerstick but then shipped to the Theranos lab for results.

Making the point that this approach was no secret, Downey introduced a Wall Street Journal article in which the reporter experienced exactly the procedure Edlin described and then wrote an article praising the new technology.

Edlin also explained his earlier testimony that Theranos would run a "null protocol" during demos that would not actually test blood samples, saying that the protocol was used with guests who just wanted to see the machines or review the graphics setup, not have their blood drawn.

Regarding his testimony last week that a customized "demo app" "shielded protocol failures from the client," Edlin said on Wednesday that the issue was again about meeting the different requests of different visitors.

Asked by Downey whether Edlin or anyone else at Theranos was trying to deceive visitors with the various methods used during the demos, Edlin responded, "Of course not."

Stay informed

Get daily headlines sent straight to your inbox in our Express newsletter.

Stay informed

Get daily headlines sent straight to your inbox in our Express newsletter.

Follow Palo Alto Online and the Palo Alto Weekly on Twitter @paloaltoweekly, Facebook and on Instagram @paloaltoonline for breaking news, local events, photos, videos and more.

Get uninterrupted access to important local crime news. Become a member today.

Elizabeth Holmes trial: Former Theranos project manager testifies no intent to deceive

Defense attorney raises questions surrounding presentation of blood-testing technology

by /

Uploaded: Wed, Oct 20, 2021, 4:03 pm

Elizabeth Holmes's defense team spent much of Wednesday trying to undo damaging testimony by former Theranos project manager Daniel Edlin.

Edlin reported directly to Holmes, the Theranos founder and CEO who is fighting 12 counts of wire fraud based on allegedly false and misleading statements to investors, doctors and patients about the capabilities of the company's blood-testing technology. The federal criminal trial in San Jose is now in its seventh week.

Defense attorney Kevin Downey hit a wide range of issues that came up in prosecutors' questioning of Edlin on Tuesday and last week.

Responding to an internal Theranos email suggesting that the technology was not suited for military use because the company's Edison machines would "shut down" if operated in the wide range of temperatures required, Downey introduced emails from Dr. Melissa Givens of the U.S. Africa Command in which she praised an Edison device tested in Cameroon, Uganda and South Sudan.

According to Givens' emails, the machine "seemed to function well in the environment" and she would propose additional funding to do more testing of Theranos technology.

Downey also took aim at earlier testimony suggesting that Theranos used a bag of tricks to make it appear that the technology worked when giving demonstrations to interested investors and other guests.

Edlin previously said that during some demos, the fingerpick blood samples were placed in the small containers intended to be inserted in the Edison machines but were then taken to the company's on-site lab to be analyzed, rather than being run through the Edisons.

Prodded by Downey, Edlin explained that this method mimicked the process that would be used at the initial Walgreens rollout of Theranos testing, where the samples would be taken by fingerstick but then shipped to the Theranos lab for results.

Making the point that this approach was no secret, Downey introduced a Wall Street Journal article in which the reporter experienced exactly the procedure Edlin described and then wrote an article praising the new technology.

Edlin also explained his earlier testimony that Theranos would run a "null protocol" during demos that would not actually test blood samples, saying that the protocol was used with guests who just wanted to see the machines or review the graphics setup, not have their blood drawn.

Regarding his testimony last week that a customized "demo app" "shielded protocol failures from the client," Edlin said on Wednesday that the issue was again about meeting the different requests of different visitors.

Asked by Downey whether Edlin or anyone else at Theranos was trying to deceive visitors with the various methods used during the demos, Edlin responded, "Of course not."

Comments

There are no comments yet. Please share yours below.

Post a comment

In order to encourage respectful and thoughtful discussion, commenting on stories is available to those who are registered users. If you are already a registered user and the commenting form is not below, you need to log in. If you are not registered, you can do so here.

Please make sure your comments are truthful, on-topic and do not disrespect another poster. Don't be snarky or belittling. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

See our announcement about requiring registration for commenting.