Theranos announced this morning it would add eight medical and lab experts to its scientific and medical advisory board. The new members include:
- Susan A. Evans, PhD, FACB, former president of the American Association For Clinical Chemistry (AACC)
- Bill Foege, MD, former Director of the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
- Ann M. Gronowski, PhD, DABCC, Department of Pathology and Immunology and the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis
- David Helfet, MD, Hospital for Special Surgery and New York-Presbyterian Hospital, Weill Cornell Medicine
- Larry J. Kricka, D. Phil, FRCPath, University of Pennsylvania
- Jack Ladenson, PhD, DABCC, Washington University School of Medicine;
- Andy O. Miller, MD, Hospital for Special Surgery and New York-Presbyterian Hospital, Weill Cornell Medicine
- Steven Spitalnik, MD, Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC)
The additions come at a critical time for the company. The FDA banned Theranos from using its machines for any tests other than one for Herpes (HSV-2). And several employees filed complaints with the government about Theranos’ practices last year.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Service also recently released a scathing report detailing several issues including quality control, erratic tests results on Theranos’ proprietary Edison machine and unqualified personnel running lab machines.
The troubling news severed some Theranos partnerships or at least put them on pause. Grocery store chain Safeway pulled out of a $350 million deal with the company and Walgreens halted its expansion of testing centers while it looked into the matter.
Theranos admitted it has “made some mistakes” and has since submitted a plan to CMS to correct the problems. It also hired a new, more qualified lab director in its Newark, California location.
The additional board members seem to be an extension of the ongoing course correction.
According to Theranos, “The board expanded after the company hosted three scientific review sessions in Palo Alto with leading laboratory and medical experts who were invited to review the company’s proprietary technologies with full exposure to its systems, devices and data.”