PathGroup, which has been performing most tests for the city of Nashville, is one of nine companies that will split up nearly $130 million from the National Institutes of Health. The money, announced Wednesday, is meant to accelerate expansion of COVID-19 diagnostic testing.
PathGroup had primarily operated in hospital and clinic settings in the Southeast and Midwest over its 55-year history. But with COVID-19, the privately held firm pivoted to mass test processing in May.
Currently, it can handle more than 10,000 samples a day. With the NIH money, it plans to become a “mega-lab” and expand its operation to process 80,000 a day. The company also hopes to speed up results and turn around results in 24 hours.
PathGroup plans to receive roughly $20 million of the grant funding and hire as many as 200 people, on top of their 2,200 employees.
Nashville-based Aegis Sciences also received one of these NIH grants, though the company made its own announcement last month. Aegis plans to scale up to handle 60,000 samples a day.
Both companies have national presences but have primarily served the state of Tennessee’s need for COVID-19 testing. The state has been paying them directly to process samples from publicly run testing sites. The expansions should allow both firms to process testing from a broader region.
This story was updated at noon Thursday to add specific dollar amounts.