Kodak, Yes THAT Kodak, to Produce Drugs with $765 Million Loan

Kodak opens a new division to create pharmaceuticals.

Eastman Kodak broke ground in 1888 as a photography company, and though it did not invent 35mm filmthat credit goes to Thomas Edisonit has gone on to become synonymous with the format. Some of the most iconic movies have been shot with its celluloid, and even within the digital era, Kodak has seen a resurgence after filing for bankruptcy thanks to studio deals and directors committed to the visual medium. In 2020 alone, projects from Christopher Nolan, Spike Lee, and Judd Apatow have all shot with Kodak.

According to The Wall Street Journal, which first reported the news, Kodak has received a $765 million government loan to expedite domestic production of drugs to treat a variety of medical conditions and loosen the country's reliance on foreign sources. The loan is from the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation and is a first of its kind under the Defense Production Act, which will be used to produce ingredients for generic drugs.  

With the influx of funding, the one time inventor of 16mm film has opened a division called Kodak Pharmaceuticals. Once running, the company says the new arm will produce up to 25% of active pharmaceutical ingredients used in non-biologic, non-antibacterial, generic pharmaceuticals while supporting 360 direct jobs and an additional 1,200 indirectly. 

Kodak Executive Chairman Jim Continenza said the company "is proud to be a part of strengthening America’s self-sufficiency in producing the key pharmaceutical ingredients we need to keep our citizens safe." Kodak isn't the only company with ties to the entertainment industry that's reaching to the medical field. Fujifilm was awarded a $265 million contract to expand production of a potential COVID-19 vaccine. 

How the new business strategy will directly affect the film division is readily unknown. More than likely it won't change much, and could even keep the film division afloat for decades to come. No Film School reached out to Kodak for comment, but they did not immediately respond to our request. We will update this story when they do.      

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Your Comment


Jim Continenza? And then for the pharmaceutical arm of KODAK? Really??

July 29, 2020 at 11:31AM

You voted '+1'.

This makes so much sense. Bravo, USA. May I interest you in my demon sperm research project?

July 31, 2020 at 7:51AM

Patrick Ortman
I tell stories for money.

Hey Now. Kodak is the perfect company to "develop" a vaccine.

July 31, 2020 at 10:48AM


Weird, it was just announced that Johnson and Johnson are entering the mirrorless camera game with their first cameras to be released in 2021. And Pfizer are starting to make bluetooth headphones and audio equipment.

Seriously, why is a camera (bankrupt and failing) company being paid millions upon millions to do what pharmaceutical companies are already trying to do?

August 2, 2020 at 4:41PM

Nick Straub

I care only about Kodak film development, to be honest

August 9, 2020 at 4:10PM