Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes is presenting her blood analysis technology to a room full of scientific experts for the first time today at the American Association for Clinical Chemistry (AACC) conference in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Her big focus? A customizable, tabletop mini lab.
The company has been widely criticized for not unveiling its framework for analysis in the past and this is the first time Holmes has agreed to unveil her technology. Holmes backed out of a chat about her tech at the Future of Genomic Medicine conference in March amid mounting controversy surrounding her startup.
Federal regulators deemed her Newark lab a threat to public safety at the time. Theranos main partner Walgreens has since backed out, Holmes has faced a Congressional inquiry over her lab practices, was recently banned from operating in her own labs, had her Newark lab shut down and was threatened with possible criminal charges.
To add to the injuries, Forbes downgraded Theranos’s worth from $9 billion to just under $800 million, leaving Holmes with just a fraction of her former net worth.
Her presentation comes at a crucial moment for the company, given everything Theranos has endured over the past year. There’s no official live stream for those of us not in Philly but you can follow along with us on Stuart Blitz’s Periscope channel here to find out what Holmes has to say today.
Theranos tells TechCrunch Holmes will be discussing her lab testing framework, including the finger-stick blood collection device that has caused so much controversy. We’re also told the Theranos founder will present plenty of reproducible data and comparisons to traditional venipuncture methods as well as her methodology to collect the data and a demonstration of the “precision and accuracy of these chemistry, immunochemistry, hematology, and molecular assays (traditionally performed on separate instruments) using their analytical testing platform, including a novel molecular test for the Zika virus.”
Many have criticized Theranos lab results, saying they wildly differ from those of other labs.
While Theranos isn’t exactly opening up the kimono and much of the inner workings will likely stay behind the frosted glass walls of the company, it’s the first step for a company when it desperately needs the credibility to continue. It will be interesting to see how the scientific experts react to Holmes’s presentation today and find out if they think the technology adds up.Featured Image: Theranos