Companies rise and fall all the time in America, almost as a hallmark of capitalism. But perhaps none has ever completed that cycle with the dizzying speed of Theranos, a Silicon Valley company that had promised to revolutionize the $50 billion blood-testing industry.
Theranos was founded in 2003 by Elizabeth Holmes, a Stanford dropout who managed to raise hundreds of millions of dollars in private funding without anyone in the media catching on for the next decade. In 2013, The Wall Street Journal reported that Theranos had developed blood analysis machines that could “automate and miniaturize more than 1,000 laboratory tests” in a manner that would “require only microscopic blood volumes.” It also revealed that the company had struck up a partnership with Walgreens (WBA), which would launch a network of in-store blood collection clinics. The following summer, Fortune put Holmes on its cover, revealing that private investors had valued her company at more than $9 billion.
From that moment on, Holmes was a bonafide business celebrity. And she embraced it, giving countless interviews and appearing on stage at numerous conferences―often in a black turtleneck seemingly designed to evoke memories of Steve Jobs.
Then, just 16 months after the Fortune cover, it all began to collapse. The Wall Street Journal returned its attention to Theranos, reporting that the company wasn’t using its own blood analysis machines to do many of its tests, and that there were accuracy concerns over the tests that were done on its machines. That story sparked a series of articles in the WSJ and elsewhere—including an unprecedented mea culpa from Fortune—and regulatory actions that caused many in Silicon Valley to conclude that Theranos was expert at marketing but lousy at science. Executives began to leave. The board, initially heavy on ex-politicos like Henry Kissinger and George Schultz, was reworked. And then reworked again. Walgreens bailed.
Last November, Holmes addressed the scrutiny at Fortune’s Global Forum with Alan Murray, which you can see here:
Finally this week, Theranos announced that federal regulators had banned Holmes from owning or operating a medical laboratory for at least two years, and that Theranos could no longer continue operating its California lab. Holmes, who has been promising to finally reveal compelling, peer-reviewed science at a medical conference next month, pledged to rebuild the California lab “from the ground up” but it’s unclear how she will finance such an endeavor.
Save for a miracle, this business story seems to have reached its final chapter. See the rest of its chapters below for our comprehensive coverage:
Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes Banned From Operating a Lab
Congress Is Demanding Theranos Explain How It’s Going to Fix Itself
Walgreens Is Officially Cutting Ties With Theranos
Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes Did Not Just Lose $4.5 Billion
After the Theranos Mess, Can We Finally Quit Idolizing Entrepreneurs?
Walgreens Reportedly Struck Theranos Deal Without Verifying the Tech
Theranos Is Now Facing a Class Action Lawsuit Accusing It of Consumer Fraud
Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes Needs An Assist. Literally.
Theranos Has Thrown Out Two Years of Blood-Test Results
Theranos’s President and COO Is Leaving
Theranos Under Investigation by SEC and U.S. Attorney’s Office
Theranos Chief Elizabeth Holmes Is ‘Devastated’ Over Lab Deficiencies
Theranos Founder Elizabeth Holmes Is Facing a Ban by Regulators
Tesla and Theranos Are Pushing the Limits of Silicon Valley’s Hype Machine
Theranos Adds Startlingly Well-Qualified Medical Board
Theranos on the Ropes as Scathing Regulatory Report Is Made Public
Theranos Is Dealt Another Blow, With ‘Abnormal’ Results in New Lab Study
Clinton Campaign Distances Itself From Controversial Blood-Testing Startup Theranos
Chelsea Clinton Is Holding a Fundraiser With the Embattled Theranos CEO
Theranos May Have Run Blood Tests Despite Problems With Quality
Walgreens Is Reportedly Taking Steps to Dump Theranos
Theranos May Lose Its Biggest Blood-Testing Customer
Theranos Has Yet to Begin a Promised Validation Study
Walgreens Gives Theranos Another Drop of Bad News
Theranos Practices ‘Pose Immediate Jeopardy to Patient Safety,’ Government Says
Theranos Is Facing Yet Another Problem at One of Its Labs
How Theranos Technology Struggled to Meet Elizabeth Holmes’ Ambitions
Letter to the Editor: Theranos Responds
How Theranos Misled Me
A Theranos Deal With Safeway Stores May be Falling Apart
Theranos’ Elizabeth Holmes Says the Company Will “absolutely” Get FDA Approval
The Theranos Mess: A Timeline
Theranos Founder-CEO Elizabeth Holmes: Feminist Icon?
Theranos Restructures Board Amid Questions About Its Technology
Theranos May Be Seeking to Raise $200 Million in New Funding
Here’s What the FDA Found Inside Theranos’ Lab
Walgreens Halts Expansion of Theranos Centers
Five Things to Know About the Man Defending Theranos
Theranos CEO Hits Back in Blood Feud With Wall Street Journal
Another Tale of Theranos Patient Woe
Ex-Apple Exec Describes First-Hand Experience Using Theranos Technology
Are the Wall Street Journal’s Allegations About Theranos True?
Theranos Controversy Has Little to Do With ‘Unicorns’
Theranos’ Board: Plenty of Political Connections, Little Relevant Expertise
WSJ Report: Theranos Is Struggling With Its Blood Test Technology
Beyond Blood: Theranos’ Billionaire Founder Talks Growth
This CEO Is Out for Blood
Stay tuned to Fortune for continuing coverage of the Theranos drama.