Elizabeth Holmes, founder of Theranos Inc., left, arrives at federal court in San Jose, Calif., Tuesday, August 31, 2021.
David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Images
SAN JOSE, CALIF. –A former laboratory director at Theranos said on Tuesday he left the company for one simple reason: Blood testing technology just didn’t work.
Adam Rosendorff, a key government witness, testified for the fifth day of the criminal fraud trial of former CEO Elizabeth Holmes.
“There was tremendous pressure within the company to show this technology was a success,” Rosendorff said during the reorientation review. “It came from above and went through R&D.”
He has testified to his difficulties in getting Theranos executives, including Holmes, to address his concerns about inaccuracy issues within the lab.
“She wanted to quickly expand the use of the Edison from the time of deployment to the rest of my time with the company,” Rosendorff said of Holmes. The Edison was one of the company’s blood testing machines.
Rosendorff said he left the company in November 2014 feeling “very skeptical” of Edison and the company.
“I felt it was a question of my integrity as a doctor not to just sit there and continue to reinforce results that I basically didn’t trust,” Rosendorff said. “I understood that the management was not being sincere in diverting resources to solve problems.”
Holmes faces 12 criminal fraud charges relating to allegedly embezzling investors of hundreds of millions of dollars and misleading patients and doctors. She has pleaded not guilty and denies any wrongdoing. Once a Silicon Valley prodigy, Holmes claimed his start-up Theranos could perform hundreds of tests with a simple blood stick.
Rosendorff, who left Theranos seven years ago, said the preparation and testimony for the trial turned his life upside down.
“The stress of meeting with the government, of traveling to meet with the government from San Diego to the SEC in San Francisco,” Rosendorff said. “Basically I have this problem in mind. Having to relive some very unpleasant experiences at Theranos and media attention.”
The redirection followed four intense and long days of cross-examination by Lance Wade, a defense attorney for Holmes, who repeatedly tried to undermine Rosendorff’s prior testimony.
In an attempt to challenge his honesty, Wade pointed out some discrepancies in Rosendorff’s testimony in a separate case from his testimony on the stand. Wade also asked Rosendorff about the sensitive emails he forwarded from Theranos to his personal Gmail account when he resigned.
“Two pages of detailed health information for maybe 100 patients,” Wade said. “It’s a violation of HIPAA, isn’t it? “
“I don’t know,” Rosendorff replied.
Earlier, Rosendorff said he passed on the company’s emails in the event of a federal investigation and because he was considering filing a whistleblower lawsuit.
“You were sending her to try to get money in this lawsuit,” Wade said.
“Not at all,” Rosendorff replied.
“You also stole secret business information,” Wade said.
“I don’t remember,” Rosendorff said.
Rosendorff’s testimony is expected to end on Wednesday.