The US International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) has agreed to provide a $765m loan to The Eastman Kodak Company to help the company foray into the pharmaceutical business.

Kodak will use the DFC loan to launch its new business arm Kodak Pharmaceuticals aimed at domestic production and supply of critical pharmaceutical components to address the Covid-19 pandemic.

The agreement marks the first use of new authority passed on by President Trump’s executive order that empowers DFC and the US Department of Defense (DOD) to collaborate in support of the domestic response to Covid-19 under the Defense Production Act (DPA).

DFC Chief Executive Officer Adam Boehler said: “Addressing the unprecedented challenges we face today-and preparing for future crises-requires innovative ideas and partnerships.

“Today, we are bringing together the significant resources and expertise of the private sector and the US Government.

“We are pleased to support Kodak in this bold new venture. Our collaboration with this iconic American company will promote health and safety at home and around the world.”

Kodak Pharmaceuticals to create 60 direct jobs and  1,200 indirect jobs

Kodak Pharmaceuticals is expected to manufacture important pharmaceutical components, which have been identified as essential but not available due to chronic national shortage, as defined by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Once fully operational, the firm is planned to produce up to 25% of active pharmaceutical ingredients used in non-biologic, non-antibacterial, generic pharmaceuticals, and support 360 direct jobs and 1,200 indirect jobs.

The new federal loan is expected to support the company’s costs to remodel and expand its existing facilities in Rochester, New York and St. Paul, Minnesota, by uniting continuous manufacturing and advanced technology capabilities.

Kodak said that its LOI with DFC confirms the completion of initial screening and the agency will conduct standard due diligence before formally committing to the financing.

Kodak executive chairman Jim Continenza said: “Kodak 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.

“By leveraging our vast infrastructure, deep expertise in chemicals manufacturing, and heritage of innovation and quality, Kodak will play a critical role in the return of a reliable American pharmaceutical supply chain.”