- The U.S. government is lending $765 million to iconic camera manufacturer Eastman Kodak to begin producing pharmaceutical products.
The U.S. government is lending $765 million to iconic camera manufacturer Eastman Kodak to begin producing pharmaceutical products in a bid to improve U.S. self-sufficiency in response to the coronavirus pandemic, the company reported Tuesday.
Jim Continenza, Chief Executive of Kodak, told the Wall Street Journal that pharmaceutical ingredient production would ultimately make up 30 to 40 percent of Kodak ‘s revenue.
Kodak shares more than tripled after the government loan announcement, raising the firm’s market cap from $115 million to $347 million by closing on Tuesday, the best performing day ever for the company.
Kodak follows the direction of her former competitor, Japan’s Fujifilm Holdings Corp, in his leap from film and imagery to pharmaceutical development. For most of the 20th century, the two firms developed a near-duopoly on film photography, but Fujifilm has proven much more skillful in reinventing itself than its American counterpart to date.
In 1975, a Kodak engineer invented the first digital camera, but the firm failed to understand the promise of the technology. Fujifilm pivoted faster into electronics, launching the world’s first electronics compact camera in 1988, and the Japanese business was quicker to diversify away from photographic film.
After George Eastman brought the first simple camera into the consumers’ hands in 1888, Kodak, headquartered in Rochester, New York, has become a widely known American company that has helped drive the graphic communications industry innovation. Today, Kodak is extending its conventional product line to support the national response to COVID-19 by enhancing key strategic capital in domestic development and supply chains.
Kodak Pharmaceuticals will manufacture vital pharmaceutical components that have been listed as important but which, as specified by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), have become chronic national shortages. Although Americans consume about 40 percent of the world ‘s supply of bulk components used to produce generic pharmaceutics, only 10 percent of these materials are produced in the U.S.
When fully operational, Kodak Pharmaceuticals will be able to manufacture up to 25 percent of active pharmaceutical ingredients ( APIs) used in non-biological, non-antibacterial, generic pharmaceuticals while supporting 360 direct employment and an additional 1,200 indirectly. The business plans to co-ordinate closely with the Administration and pharmaceutical manufacturers to identify and prioritize products that are most important to American people and national security.