Former Theranos Manager Says CEO Elizabeth Holmes Pushed Her To Validate Tests For Walgreens Rollout

On Friday, former Theranos manager and senior scientist Surekha Gangakhedkar testified that she was “worried about the launch” of the Edison blood-testing machines in Walgreens stores, adding “I was actually scared.”

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Surekha Gangakhedkar told the court she printed off company documents to protect herself as she suspected the pending launch of the company’s blood-testing machines in Walgreens would end badly. 

On Friday, eight years on from quitting her role at Theranos, Gangakhedkar testified at the criminal trial of her former boss, Elizabeth Holmes, the CEO and founder of Theranos Inc. 

Gangakhedkar’s testimony is currently the strongest testimony connecting Elizabeth Holmes’ actions to charges that she misled patients and investors about the accuracy of the Edison blood-testing machine. Holmes has pleaded not guilty to all charges, but she faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted. 

Criminal defence lawyer James Melendres said Gangakhedkar’s concerns about Theranos’ criminal liability stem back to as early as 2013. Gangakhedkar directly reported to Holmes and met with her several times per week as manager of assay systems at the company. Gangakhedkar said she made Holmes fully aware of the serious inaccuracies and failings of the Edison machine, a claim which was supported by emails displayed for jurors on Friday. 

Gangakhedkar told the court she felt immense pressure to approve Theranos’ blood tests leading up to its Walgreens launch. When asked, Gangakhedkar said the pressure came from her former boss, Ms Holmes.

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