Source : 'Generics Bulletin'
The Eastman Kodak Company has announced successfully establishing its new business unit, Kodak Pharmaceuticals, which will produce critical pharmaceutical components that have been identified as essential but have lapsed into chronic national shortage.
The US International Development Finance Corporation agreed to grant a $765m loan to support the launch of Kodak Pharmaceuticals.
Kodak said that once its new business unit is fully operational, “Kodak Pharmaceuticals will have the capacity at Eastman Business Park to 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.”
Adam Boehler, CEO of the DFC, signed a letter of interest for investment to provide a $765m loan to the new arm of Kodak, post the successful completion of DFC’s initial screening. The loan uses the new authority delegated by US president Donald Trump’s recent executive order enabling the DFC and the US Department of Defense to collaborate in support of the domestic response to COVID-19 under the Defense Production Act,
The DFC also said that the letter of interest would be followed by standard due diligence conducted by the agency before financing is formally committed.
Peter Navarro, president and director of the office of trade and manufacturing policy at the White House said, “this DFC-Kodak partnership is a big win for the use of President Trump’s DPA powers, a big win for New York, and a huge step forward towards American pharmaceutical independence.” Boehler commented that “we are bringing together the significant resources and expertise of the private sector and US government.”
According to Kodak, the loan from DFC will help reduce time to market by supporting start-up costs needed to repurpose and expand the company’s existing facilities in New York and Minnesota.
Jim Continenza, executive chairman of Kodak 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.”
“We are pleased to support Kodak in this bold new venture, said Boehler, adding that, “our collaboration with this iconic American company will promote health and safety at home and around the world.”
Kodak said that its pharmaceutical wing “will produce critical pharmaceutical components that have been identified as essential but have lapsed into chronic national shortage, as defined by the Food and Drug Administration.”
“If we have learned anything from the global pandemic, it is that Americans are dangerously dependent on foreign supply chains for their essential medicines,” said Navarro. "Purchasing Commitments Must Underpin US Expansion" "Generics Bulletin"
Commenting on Kodak’s decision “to support the national response to COVID-19 by bolstering domestic production and supply chains of key strategic resources,” Continenza said that “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.”
John Polowczyk, the White House supply chain task force lead, commented that “this is about assuring our supply chains now and in the future. Kodak is stepping up to help onshore pharmaceutical production and this DPA action will allow the modernized Strategic National Stockpile to have domestic resiliency.”
Polowczyk added, “Once Kodak ramps up, we will have the ability to tap into that capacity for domestic use.”
President Trump had signed the executive order on the Defense Production Act in May 2020, “delegating authority to the DFC CEO under the DPA to leverage its financial tools to re-shore production of strategic resources and strengthen related domestic supply chains in response to COVID-19.”
Post the DPA, the DFC announced a call for proposals under its new Health and Prosperity Initiative, seeking to catalyze $5bn of investment in projects that help developing countries respond to COVID-19 and build greater health resilience.
Under the initiative, the DFC said it was “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.”
According to the DFC, “these efforts complement DFC’s global response to both the health-related and economic impacts of COVID-19.”
Boehler insisted that “addressing the unprecedented challenges we face today—and preparing for future crises—requires innovative ideas and partnerships.”
The DFC has also launched a request for proposals from private sector entities seeking DFC financing under the DPA for projects that support the domestic production or distribution of pharmaceuticals, personal protective equipment, medical testing supplies, vaccines, ventilation equipment or relevant ancillary materials and technologies.
Apart from DFC’s increase in authority, the US federal backing for local start-up Phlow is generally seen as part of COVID-19-related “medicines nationalism” playing out as the US seeks to lower dependency on foreign nations to support its drug supply chain. "US Plows $354m Into Phlow" "Generics Bulletin"
Phlow’s up-front federal government funding of $354m is for advanced manufacturing of the “most essential” medicines at risk of shortage in the US, including medicines for COVID-19 pandemic response. Federal funds from the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, part of the office of Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response at the US Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) have been deployed for the purpose.
By Akriti Seth