Former Theranos Lab Director Emerges as Central Prosecution Witness

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Adam Rosendorff’s testimony supports fraud charges against company founder Elizabeth Holmes

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“I had frequent conversations with Elizabeth about the concerns she was having in the lab,” he testified, and she was often copied over emails discussing the issues.

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After a day and a half of questioning from prosecutors, Dr. Rosendorff faced aggressive questioning from Ms. Holmes’ defense team this week. She is expected to face two more days of cross-examination on Friday and Tuesday in federal court in San Jose, where Ms. Holmes is facing trial on 10 counts of wire fraud and two counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

Her lawyer has pleaded guilty to little more than relying on others and running a failing business. Theranos shut down in 2018 amid regulatory scrutiny and criminal charges.

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In his role as Lab Director from April 2013 until he stepped down in November 2014, Dr. Rosendorf was responsible for helping to ensure the accuracy of the company’s blood tests and responding to customer complaints when its technology routinely failed.

From that perch, Dr. Rosendorff said he personally witnessed the failure of Theranos’ haunting technology, which the company told investors could diagnose hundreds with a few drops of blood from a finger prick. The company often used conventional machines, not its proprietary technology, to conduct the tests.

Dr. Rosendorff testified that Ms. Holmes was aware that the company’s devices produced false results but still inspired Theranos to roll out its technology to real patients.

On November 14, 2014, just before leaving the company, Dr. Rosendorff wrote an email directly to Ms. Holmes: “I feel really uncomfortable with the company. [SIC] What’s happening at this company right now.” He asked that his name be removed from the lab license, to free him from legal liability. “I feel pressured to confirm the results I trust. can not do.”

Five days later, Ms. Holmes replied, “How sad and disappointed to see this from you.” She said she wasn’t aware of her concerns, and wrote, “You know from every conversation we’ve ever had together how fundamental it is to all of us that you or any other employee should ever have to do that.” Don’t do something you’re not fully confident in.”

Dr. Rosendorff told the jurors that he found their response inconsistent because he had alerted them to problems in the past.

Born in South Africa, Dr. Rosendorff immigrated to America in 1993, attended medical school in New York, and became an expert in clinical pathology, which he explained to jurors, which means diagnosis of disease in laboratories. Prior to joining Theranos in April 2013, he served as laboratory director at the University of Pittsburgh Children’s Hospital.

He has told jurors how he believed he was joining the next Apple Inc.

When he began working for Theranos, but eventually became disillusioned, the worried company was more concerned about public relations than patient safety.

By the time he left the company, he had saved several pieces of Theranos correspondence in his personal email account, in the event he would later tell others what he saw, he testified.

He spoke to Businesshala in 2015 before the paper was published, revealing that Theranos’ finger-stick lab tests were unreliable and that they often used conventional machines instead. He publicly revealed himself as a source in court this week.

Ms. Holmes’ attorney, Lance Wade, questioned Dr. Rosendorff longer than prosecutors, and is expected to continue until next week. The cross-examination has sometimes been counterproductive, while for a long time it has delved deeply into scientific subtleties.

Dr. Rosendorff answers questions carefully, parsing words at times to provide nonverbal answers, speaking at his questioner or going beyond the scope of what was asked, rebuking the judge .

In one such example, Dr. Rosendorff said that considering Theranos’ own $240,000 salary, which was the highest in the company, “given the quality issues and risks, professional risks and problems in Theranos” are sufficient. and had to pay legal expenses for the last seven or eight years.

Sarah Randazzo [email protected] . Feather


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