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Theranos lays off most of its remaining workforce

Key Points
  • Blood testing start-up Theranos has laid off most of its remaining workforce leaving only two dozen or fewer employees, according to the Wall Street Journal.
  • Theranos founder and CEO Elizabeth Holmes laid off the employees in a last-ditch effort to avoid bankruptcy.
  • Holmes was charged with massive fraud in March and settled the case for $500,000, leaving the start-up in a tough financial position.
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Theranos lays off most of its remaining workforce: WSJ

Blood testing start-up Theranos has laid off most of its remaining workforce, leaving only two dozen or fewer employees, according to a report from The Wall Street Journal.

Theranos founder and CEO Elizabeth Holmes announced the layoffs at an all-employee meeting at Theranos' offices in California on Tuesday. The layoffs were part of a last-ditch effort to avert or at least delay bankruptcy, sources told the Journal.

News of the recent layoffs comes less than a month after the company settled fraud charges for $500,000.

Holmes was charged with massive fraud in March after raising more than $700 million while deceiving investors. The start-up made it appear as if Theranos has successfully developed a commercially-ready portable blood analyzer. In reality, the technology could only perform a small number of tests advertised.

The company had about 800 employees as recently as 2015. An investigation by The Wall Street Journal exposing Theranos' efforts to mislead investors and the public about its technology led to layoffs bringing the head count down to 125. The most recent layoff brings the head count of the failing company down to two dozen or less.

Theranos did not immediately respond to CNBC's requests for comment.

Read the full report here.