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The Information's Jessica Lessin with Freenome CEO Gabe Otte, Counsyl Software Engineering Director Kevin Haas and Color Genomics co-founder Othman Laraki. Photo by Julie Mikos.

Biotech Wants to Exit the Theranos Shadow

Photo: The Information's Jessica Lessin with Freenome CEO Gabe Otte, Counsyl Software Engineering Director Kevin Haas and Color Genomics co-founder Othman Laraki. Photo by Julie Mikos.

The Theranos scandal that has unwound one of the most high profile biotech companies has hurt the image of the sector, according to several executives at biotech startups. At a time when many companies are trying to raise awareness about their technology, it’s likely to make the public doubt the validity of genetic and medical testing, one said.

“Anything that’s not growing adoption [and the belief] that this is high technology and a very properly engineered system is a step backward,” said Kevin Haas, the director of software engineering for genetic disease testing startup Counsyl. He made the comments on a panel hosted by The Information that also featured Othaman Laraki, the CEO of Color Genomics and Gabe Otte, CEO of Freenome. The three agreed that Theranos’ downfall has proved to be a pivotal moment for the industry.

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