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Opinion: Peer review could help smoke out the next Theranos

The insidious problem with health care unicorns is not one-off, ripe-for-cinema scandal — think Theranos. It is the absence of credible scientific evidence.
Source: APStock

Over a 25-month period, the startup Theranos plummeted from the heights of biotech, with a valuation of $9 billion and a fawning profile in the New Yorker’s “Annals of Innovation” in December 2014, to thanatos (death) when the company shuttered its final laboratory in January 2017. By early 2018, joint investigations by the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Food and Drug Administration, impending bankruptcy, mass layoffs, and fraud charges against the company’s enigmatic founder, Elizabeth Holmes, finished off the so-called unicorn.

Not long after the sentinel New Yorker profile appeared, one of us (J.P.A.I.) about Theranos’ operation in a JAMA Viewpoint. One major concern was that the company hadn’t presented a shred of

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