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Theranos' Story Could Become a Movie

Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes' billions in net worth may have evaporated. But she may at least have the consolation that people will think she looks like Jennifer Lawrence. 

Qmed Staff

Holmes Lawrence
How much does Theranos' Elizabeth Holmes (left) look like Jennifer Lawrence (right)? (Holmes image courtesy of Theranos. Lawrence image courtesy of Gage Skidmore, CC BY-SA 4.0)

A Silicon Valley startup becomes the newest tech darling with its blood-testing technology that supposedly needs only a drop of blood--its founder becoming one of the youngest billionaires in the world as its valuation skyrockets. And then everything comes crashing down amid investigative journalism at the Wall Street Journal and elsewhere that calls the technology into question. 

Hollywood insiders appear to have decided that Theranos' story could make for a great movie. Adam McKay, director of movies including "The Big Short" and "Anchorman," is planning a drama about Theranos, with actress Jennifer Lawrence attaching herself to the project in order to play the 32-year-old Holmes, according to Deadline Hollywood.

Forbes once estimated that Holmes was worth $4.5 billion, but now estimates her net worth has evaporated to nothing. 

Learn lessons from Theranos's mistakes at MD&M East.

The downfall started in October after a Wall Street Journal exposé called into question the accuracy of Theranos' tests. Things got worse from there. A CMS report in January described hematology testing practices at Theranos's Newark, CA-based lab as "deficient," saying they posed "immediate jeopardy to patient health and safety." Two months after that, a study in the Journal of Clinical Investigation found that Theranos's blood tests were unable match the accuracy of more conventional tests. Another Wall Street Journal article claims the company knew its technology had problems, but still used it on patients. CMS has since disclosed that the company failed 87% of its quality-control tests for one hormone test.

Theranos's value has plummeted from an implied $9 billion in 2014 to an estimated $800 million today, dragging Holmes's net worth down along with it, Forbes reports.  

Theranos is now facing a federal criminal investigation. All the while, Holmes continues to defend the company's technology. 

Chris Newmarker is senior editor of Qmed and MPMN. Follow him on Twitter at @newmarker.

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