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July 29, 2020, 03.16 PM

WASHINGTON, – Eastman Kodak Co is expected to receive a $765 million loan after reaching a deal with the US government on Tuesday.

Kodak has agreed to produce pharmaceutical ingredients in the US thus reducing dependency on other countries by strengthening domestic supply chains.

The US International Development Finance Corp said it would sign a letter of interest to provide the loan to Kodak.

News of the deal sent Kodak shares on whirlwind high trading at $8.80 after closing at $2.62 in the previous session.

Although Kodak has been tapped by the US government to manufacture pharmaceutical ingredients, the company is more well-known for its cameras and imaging business

The Trump administration has been looking to bolster the ability to produce drugs and their raw materials in the United States.

The decision came after the Covid-19 pandemic exposed the industry's dependence on China and India for its supply chain.

Read also: Johnson & Johnson in Talks with Japan, EU, Gates Foundation for Covid-19 Vaccine Supply

"This is the beginning of American independence from our pharmaceutical dependence on foreign countries," White House trade adviser Peter Navarro said in an interview with Fox Business network.

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

Read also: Trump Administration to Pay Big Bucks for Pfizer’s Covid-19 Vaccine

New York-based Kodak, which was founded in 1888, has a market capitalization of $114.6 million.

The loan will allow it to launch Kodak Pharmaceuticals, a new arm of the company that will produce critical pharmaceutical components.

"By the time this thing ramps up, 25 percent of the (active pharmaceutical ingredients) for generics we need in the United States is going to be right at that facility," Navarro said in the interview.

(Writers: Dania Nadeem, Ankur Banerjee | Editor: Shounak Dasgupta) 


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