The firm of former Oklahoma Republican Senator Don Nickles has signed up Theranos, the 10-year-old blood-testing biotech venture company, for Food & Drug Administration advocacy work.

The Nickles Group has assigned Nickles; Stacey Hughes, former aide to Sens. Nickles, Bill Cohen and Connie Mack; Mary Beth Taylor, ex-Mack staffer; and Emily Porter, ex-aide to Reps. Boehner, Trent Franks and Tom Tancredo, to the Theranos team.

The FDA gave a big boost to Theranos in July, approving the use of its herpes test outside of a laboratory environment.

That decision offers the potential for the Silicon Valley-based firm to market its herpes test directly to consumers.

Theranos' tests require only a finger prick to draw a few drops of blood for even the most complex disease.

They are inexpensive and usually cost less than half the Medicare reimbursement. More than 100 of its products selling for under $10 are listed on Theranos' website.

Vice President Joe Biden paid tribute to Theranos during a July visit to its production facility in Newark (CA).

The VP said the company is "changing the paradigm of healthcare, according to a report in the Contra Costa Times. "You are empowering people, whether they live in the barrios or a mansion, and allowing them to take control of their healthcare."

Theranos operates 40 wellness centers in Walgreens stores in California, Arizona and Pennsylvania.