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Elizabeth Holmes to Present Theranos Data at Scientific Conference

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Theranos and its finger-prick blood-testing technology has come under siege from a Wall Street Journal investigation. (Theranos)

Update 5:30 p.m. Meanwhile, the company is under criminal investigation.

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In what is sure to be a hot ticket this summer, Elizabeth Holmes is going to present data on Theranos' technology at a meeting of scientists well-equipped to judge its validity.

The American Association for Clinical Chemistry said today that Holmes will speak at a plenary session of its annual meeting in Philadelphia on Aug. 1.

Theranos spokeswoman Brooke Buchanan confirmed the presentation, saying, "We're really excited about the opportunity to share our technology with the world.”

Molly Pollen, the AACC's director of communications and PR, said the organization had been talking to Theranos for "a few weeks" with confirmation coming today.


The AACC will review Holmes' slides before they are presented, Pollen said, but it won't investigate the validity of their content.

Holmes will answer questions from the audience -- made up of laboratory medicine experts and academics -- at the end of her presentation. Pollen said those in attendance will include people who work on microfluidics and will be able to "speak to what [Theranos'] technology does and how valid it is."

Theranos has never presented data or published research in a scientific journal that would demonstrate the effectiveness of its proprietary blood-analysis technology, which the company calls "Edison."

Theranos, a private company, came to prominence and achieved a valuation as high as $10 billion by claiming it could perform a variety of tests using only the small amount of blood obtained from a single finger prick, collected in small capsules called "nanotainers."

But the FDA has only approved that technology for one test, for herpes, and more recently an investigation by The Wall Street Journal and a scathing government report on Theranos' California lab have cast serious doubt over whether the company's claims have any merit. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, which issued the report, is now considering whether to levy harsh penalties on both Theranos and Holmes.

In February, The Financial Times reported that pharmacy chain Walgreens was looking for a way out of its partnership with the startup.

Just today, on NBC's "Today" show, Holmes broke her silence on the government's contention that problems at its lab have put patients in serious jeopardy, saying she was "devastated that we did not catch and fix these issues faster."

When asked if the company would survive its current travails, she said, "Absolutely."

AACC press release:

AACC is pleased to announce that Theranos founder and CEO Elizabeth Holmes will give a plenary presentation at the 68th AACC Annual Scientific Meeting & Clinical Lab Expo in Philadelphia. For the first time, Holmes will present data at a scientific conference that describes Theranos' technologies, including small sample volume testing and finger-stick collection.

After Theranos launched its retail testing service in 2013, it quickly gained national prominence with its promise of revolutionizing the way lab testing works in the United States. The company asserted that its proprietary technologies could perform tests on a capsule-sized blood sample collected from patients via finger-stick. Using these tiny samples, the company promised to improve access and provide results more quickly than traditional lab companies, while charging less.

Holmes will present on Theranos' technologies on August 1 at the 68th AACC Annual Scientific Meeting, the largest and most recognized international forum for presenting vital science and groundbreaking advances in laboratory medicine. Attendees of the meeting are experts in the field, with the knowledge and experience needed to assess Theranos' data. After her presentation, Holmes will answer questions from these experts to further clarify the science, accuracy, and reliability of Theranos' technologies, as well as its impact on patient care and safety.

"There is no better place to present Theranos' technology than at the AACC Annual Scientific Meeting, where leaders in laboratory medicine can evaluate Ms. Holmes' data and research," said AACC CEO Janet B. Kreizman. "AACC members have been asking for this information, and we are thrilled that Ms. Holmes is presenting the science behind the technology for the first time at AACC, the premier scientific forum for laboratory medicine."

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