Cepheid named Lodi Chamber’s Business of the Year

Cepheid in Lodi Thursday, March 26, 2020.

A global health care company that has made its mark in Lodi will be honored for its impact in the community next month.

The Lodi Chamber of Commerce this week announced that Cepheid has been named Business of the Year as it continues to grow and attract more employees to the region.

Based in Sunnyvale, Cepheid came to Lodi in 2013 and has been the city’s fastest growing employer, chamber executive director and president Pat Patrick said.

“This award is given because of what Cepheid means to Lodi,” Patrick said in a media statement released over the weekend.

“It is not just because of this company’s outstanding growth, the respect they command in their industry and what they are doing for Lodi now and in the future by providing hundreds of good high-paying jobs,” he said. “But perhaps even more valuable to the community, it says to other companies like Cepheid, Lodi is a great place to see your business grow, live in a great small city and have a quality of life that is getting harder to find in California.”

A molecular diagnostic testing company founded in 1996, the company developed a COVID-19 test earlier this year that provides positive or negative results in 45 minutes.

The test relies on Cepheid’s GeneXpert system, a testing platform it developed more than a decade ago and already tests for infections such as the flu, tuberculosis, strep throat and HIV.

Using the existing GeneXpert system, a health care provider can take a throat or nose sample for a specialized cartridge, many of which are manufactured at Cepheid’s Lodi plant.

The cartridges are loaded into the existing system, which can test as many as 80 samples at once.

Cepheid came to Lodi after purchasing Quashnick Tool Company, one of the many suppliers around the world that produced the GeneXpert cartridge.

Patrick said the cartridges made in Lodi were deemed superior to others the company had procured, as they performed better with very few failures.

Quashnick’s 38 employees joined the Cepheid team, and shortly thereafter the company purchased its existing building on the corner of Guild Avenue and Victor Road. As of today, Cepheid employs 750 people at the site.

Cepheid also leased the former ArmourStruxx building at Beckman Road and Thurman roads, which will double the output of cartridges manufactured at the Guild Avenue site.

The company has also moved its research and development department to Lodi, and it is anticipated more than 2,000 Cepheid employees will be in Lodi by the end of 2022.

Derek Beattie, Cepheid’s vice president of injection molding manufacturing and technical operations, was an intern with Quashnick Tool Company prior to the buyout.

Cepheid will be recognized at the chamber’s annual dinner celebration on Jan. 27 at the Wine & Roses Garden Ballroom.

The chamber will also be honoring Jerry Fry, who was named the Outstanding Citizen of the Year last week.

Tickets can be purchased at the Chamber of Commerce office at 35 S. School St., or by calling 209-365-4605.

You can also visit www.lodichamber.com or call 209-365-4605.

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