Kodak Shares Add Another 500% as Drug Shift Keeps Boosting Stock

Kodak’s stock price skyrocketed today. Chart by Google Finance

Kodak stock soared 200% on Tuesday after the camera company secured a $US765 million government loan to produce generic-drug ingredients in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

"Kodak Pharmaceuticals will make critical pharmaceutical ingredients that have been identified as essential but have lapsed into chronic national shortage, as defined by the Food and Drug Administration".

The U.S. administration's deal with Kodak is the first of this magnitude using the powers of the 1950 Defense Production Act. "This DFC-Kodak partnership is a big win for the use of President Trump's DPA powers, a big win for NY, and a huge step forward towards American pharmaceutical independence".

In a rare display of bipartisan enthusiasm, NY governor Mario Cuomo wrote in his daily COVID-19 update that the loan to the "storied NY manufacturer based in Rochester" will allow Kodak to create a new business unit, Kodak Pharmaceuticals, that will create 300 direct jobs and 1,200 indirect jobs in the state. Reportedly, the LOI will be signed by Boehler and Continenza, and the signing ceremony is likely to attract remarks from President Donald Trump and Andrew Cuomo, the Governor of NY. The agreement is regarding the President's collaboration with the company to produce active ingredients for generic medicines to fight against the deadly COVID-19 disease.

It's a massive boost for a once-loved American brand that has always been a symbol of family memories but whose stock has been languishing for decades as the digital revolution forced Kodak into bankruptcy.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Kodak received the first loan of its kind under the Defense Production Act, which is part of a USA effort to reduce its dependence on foreign countries by bringing production of certain things back onto American soil. Although Americans consume approximately 40 percent of the world's supply of bulk components used to produce generic pharmaceutics, only 10 percent of these materials are manufactured in the United States.

In May, the administration awarded a contract worth up to $812 million for a new U.S. company to manufacture drugs and drug ingredients in the country.

The 132-year-old company will create Kodak Pharmaceuticals to produce ingredients for drug manufacturing as President Donald Trump's eyes the deal as an "a breakthrough in bringing pharmaceutical production back to the United States".

In any event, in adding a new chapter to its history, which dates back to 1888, the venerable "Take a Kodak with You" tagline has taken on new meaning. The agency, recently announced a call for proposals under its new Health and Prosperity Initiative, which seeks to catalyze $5 billion of investment in projects that help developing countries respond to COVID-19 and build greater health resilience. Under the initiative, DFC is particularly focused on investments in health system capacity, including supply chains that expand the distribution of diagnostics, therapeutics, vaccines, and other medical supplies, products, and equipment.