Lab Chief Brought Issue to Holmes, Got 'Implausible' Reply

Kingshuk Das testified on Tuesday
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 10, 2021 9:03 AM CST
Theranos' Lab Chief: Holmes Offered 'Implausible' Excuses
In this Tuesday, Aug. 31, 2021, file photo, Elizabeth Holmes, founder and CEO of Theranos, arrives at the federal courthouse for jury selection in her trial, in San Jose, Calif.   (AP Photo/Nic Coury, File)

(Newser) – "I found these instruments to be unsuitable for clinical use." It's probably not what Elizabeth Holmes would want to hear anyone saying about Theranos' proprietary Edison devices. But Kingshuk Das isn't anyone. He's Theranos' former lab director, and he made the statement Tuesday while testifying in Holmes' fraud trial, reports the Guardian. He was the third employee to hold that title, with CNBC reporting he joined the company in late 2015 and was initially tasked with dealing with all the issues the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services had turned up in an audit of Theranos' labs. He said Theranos was working "in good faith" to correct those problems, but he didn't describe Holmes as entirely accepting of those problems.

He said she offered up "implausible" excuses for device failures, recounting one easy-to-comprehend example he shared with her in which a set of tests showed female patient results included prostate-specific antigens; "females should generally not have PSA detectable," Das explained in court. But he says Holmes suggested it was because the patients had a rare form of breast cancer, and cited a relevant "article or two." That line of thinking "seemed implausible," he said. The Wall Street Journal reports Das was laid off in June 2018, just months before the company went under. His testimony continues on Wednesday. (Read more Theranos stories.)

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