Walgreens is beginning to break up with Theranos

The pharmacy is closing down a blood testing center and will stop sending samples to Theranos.

Michael Kovac/Getty Images

The bad news just keeps piling on for Theranos, following yesterday's announcement from the US government that its blood testing technology "jeopardizes" patients' health. Walgreens, the company's main retail partner, said today that it'll be shutting down its Theranos Wellness Center in Palo Alto, California. Additionally, the pharmacy will no longer send blood samples to Theranos' lab in Newark, California. And, to top it all off, Walgreens also says that blood tests from one of the 40 Theranos Wellness Centers it hosts in Arizona must go to a third-party lab, or Theranos' Phoenix lab, not the Newark facility.

Theranos built up a reputation as a forward-thinking health technology company after developing a blood testing device that requires only a few drops of blood, rather than larger vials of blood. But its technology has come into question over the past year; in October, the FDA revealed that it had approved only one of Theranos' finger prick tests (for herpes), out of the 100 tests the startup initially claimed. At that point, Walgreens halted an expansion of Theranos' test centers to the rest of its stores, so today's announcement isn't too surprising.

Theranos offered up the following statement on today's news:

We look forward to continuing to work with Walgreens to provide access to reliable, high quality, and low-cost lab testing services. Our CLIA-certified Arizona lab, which handles approximately 95% of our wellness center lab tests, is not impacted by this week's findings and will continue to serve wellness centers. This week's CMS findings relate solely to certain aspects of a different lab - our Newark, CA lab - and do not reflect the current state of that lab. This is an issue that many other labs have faced, and we have been and will fix it quickly and completely, working with our regulators as we always do. We are open for business, confident in our technologies, and unwavering in our commitment to provide Arizonans with the care and service they deserve.

[Photo credit: Michael Kovac/Getty Images/Vanity Fair]