After a tedious day of bickering, Victoria Sung appeared like manna from heaven — to inform us that Theranos’ checks sucked.
Sung labored at Celgene when it contracted with Theranos. Her testimony was transient and to the purpose: Celgene had not “comprehensively validated” Theranos expertise, she mentioned. That will have taken extra work than what she did with Theranos’ checks. The work she confirmed the court docket from 2012 demonstrated Theranos carried out dismally in comparison with commonplace testing — usually returning outcomes that have been “out of range.”
We’ll get to the bickering in a minute, I promise, however Sung is a teaser for an enormous a part of US v. Elizabeth Holmes we haven’t explored a lot: Theranos’s relationship with pharmaceutical firms. One allegation prosecutor Robert Leach made in his opening assertion was that Holmes had deceived Walgreens about its relationship with drug firms. Throughout former worker Surekha Gangakhedkar’s testimony a little bit over per week in the past, she said that she didn’t suppose pharma firm GlaxoSmithKline’s report on Theranos tech “comprehensively validated” it.
This phrase felt acquainted, and right this moment I spotted from the place: Dangerous Blood, John Carreyrou’s e book about Theranos. Within the e book, Carreyrou wrote that paperwork Theranos gave Walgreens “stated that the Theranos system had been ‘comprehensively validated over the last seven years by 10 of the largest 15 pharma companies.’”
GSK and Celgene’s acquirer, Bristol-Myers Squibb, definitely rank among the many largest pharma firms. They did have contracts with Theranos; in reality, Celgene was Theranos’ largest pharma buyer. However neither of the research these two firms did depend as complete validation, based on Sung and Gangakhedkar.
I think about we are going to work via Theranos’ different pharma companions later within the trial; Sung’s testimony was transient. She was solely on the stand as a result of former lab director Adam Rosendorff had a childcare dedication at 2PM and couldn’t proceed his cross-examination, which took many of the day.
Rosendorff had beforehand testified that Theranos’ checks have been unhealthy, even saying he didn’t perceive the scientific worth of 1 take a look at.
Lance Wade, Holmes’ lawyer, got down to undermine this testimony, and that was the supply of a substantial amount of bickering. Rosendorff could possibly be persnickety about particulars; for example, Wade stored mixing up “proficiency tests” with “precision tests,” and Rosendorff stored correcting him. At one level, the 2 obtained right into a combat about whether or not Rosendorff had forwarded an e mail or replied to it. At the least, I feel that’s what they have been arguing about.
We revisited the lab inspection by the California Division of Public Well being, the place Theranos workers obtained directions to not go in or out of the “Normandy” lab, the place the Edison machines have been stored. In a earlier inspection in New York, bulletin boards had been coated with paper so the inspector couldn’t see what was on them. Wade requested if that was to guard commerce secrets and techniques. Rosendorff requested who would pin commerce secrets and techniques to bulletin boards.
However we did discover out the outcomes of the audit: some minor deficiencies, which upset Holmes and Balwani, Rosendorff testified. Later, Wade quipped that supervising high quality management checks and ensuring legal guidelines have been adopted was “why you get the big bucks, right?”
“Not as big bucks as you get paid,” Rosendorff replied.
Whereas he was among the many highest-paid workers at Theranos, making $240,000 a 12 months, The Wall Street Journal famous that companions at Wade’s agency made a median of about $1.5 million a 12 months. Given the issues at Theranos, in addition to legal professionals’ charges that stemmed from his time there, he ought to have been paid extra, Rosendorff mentioned. That little bit of testimony was struck from the report.
Bickering apart, Wade did make some progress. He put a number of the emails Rosendorff had been requested about on direct examination in chronological order with paperwork Rosendorff had signed, displaying that no matter reservations Rosendorff had didn’t cease him from approving checks.
Crucially, Wade obtained Rosendorff to revise his testimony about proficiency testing, which is required by legislation. Although proficiency testing wasn’t run on the Edison units, Rosendorff mentioned, it had been run on the FDA-approved machines within the lab. Wade produced paperwork from the American Proficiency Institute that graded Theranos “acceptable.”
This can be a important narrowing of Rosendorff’s testimony from the direct examination. Not like Wade’s tried “gotcha” second yesterday, this did make me rethink how I felt about Rosendorff’s direct testimony on proficiency testing. It’s far much less damning to say that proficiency testing had been completed all over the place besides the Edison, which was used for less than seven checks. Rosendorff was testifying to plans for proficiency testing on the Edison machines when he needed to depart for the day. (This was when the e-mail dispute occurred.)
Remarks made by counsel after the jury left steered we’ve at the very least yet another day of listening to Rosendorff and Wade squabble, which I’m not particularly trying ahead to. However Sung’s testimony did give me one thing to get enthusiastic about: What’s the remainder of Large Pharma going to say about Theranos?