The legendary pioneer photography company Kodak in Rochester is developing a fresh new role in another industry. The company is tapping into the $4.2 trillion global wellness industry to produce pharmaceutical ingredients. However, there are developments that could delay the company’s future plans to reinvent itself. Here’s more on how Kodak is making international waves once again.
Kodak’s New Pharmaceutical Focus
Kodak has recently launched a new division of its Rochester company called Kodak Pharmaceuticals. The division is receiving a $765 million government loan to produce approximately 25% of the active ingredients in U.S. generic medications. The company will join the manufacturers who contribute $2.17 trillion to the U.S. economy to reduce reliance on foreign production of drug and self-care products. The company’s move has been backed by President Trump to create more ways for critical pharmaceutical supplies to be produced in the U.S. rather than in other nations.
The company plans for pharmaceuticals to make up 30% to 40% of its business. Part of the plans includes producing ingredients for hydroxychloroquine, which has been touted as a potential treatment for the COVID-19 virus. The project is expected to create over 300 jobs in the Rochester community. According to the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation, Americans consume 40% of the world’s ingredients in the production of generic medications. However, only 10% of these components are currently manufactured in the United States.
The Rochester company has been looking at ways to reinvent themselves since filing in 2012 for bankruptcy. Before that, Kodak was famous for making film photography accessible for all. However, it failed to capitalize on its invention and is looking at this new venture to be the heart of who they are. The company will be able to work with modern labs that are able to screen ingredients to 0.1% and lower. If the venture is successful, it could lead to many breakthroughs that could revolutionize modern medicine. Kodak claims it has the experience to be successful in this industry because film chemicals are similar to the key starting materials used in the creation of pharmaceutical drugs.
A Snapshot of Kodak’s Photographic History
Kodak’s story begins in 1880 when founder George Eastman innovated a novel formula for the creation of dry plates. The Rochester company started as the Eastman Dry Plate Company and then operated under several names before settling on Eastman Kodak Company. The term Kodak came to the founder out of thin air, based on his affinity for the letter k as an incisive and strong letter. In 1888, the first Kodak camera was released. In 1988, the Rochester company made its first steps in the pharmaceutical industry after purchasing Sterling Drug Inc. in order to diversify its portfolio.
The Sterling assets were sold off in 1994 to return the Rochester company’s focus back to photography and imaging. The company stopped selling traditional film cameras in 2004 and filed in 2012 for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Kodak inked a deal in 2014 to make film for the motion picture industry, which had some success. In 2018 the Rochester company launched a plan for photo-centric cryptocurrency, but nothing came of it. In July 2020, the company was awarded a government loan to become a producer for the pharmaceutical industry.
Kodak has achieved many historic accomplishments throughout its legendary history. The company was behind the 1966 first-ever photo of Earth taken from space and John Glenn’s 1962 orbit of the planet. The Rochester company’s patented imaging technology led to the invention of the modern x-ray. Kodak film even captured the first x-ray image of the hand of the wife of Wilhelm Roentgen, an esteemed German physicist and mechanical engineer.
Negative Exposure Development Concerns
The lucrative deal that Kodak has with the government may be creating some regulatory headaches for the Rochester company. When Kodak released the news of its deal, company stock soared incredibly fast. Shares raised from $2 to $60 before the company’s debt was converted into stock as part of the intricate deal is made. The debt conversion resulted in an issuance of 30 million additional shares. This undercuts the value of the already outstanding stock.
This development has led to a potential investigation into a rallying and trading frenzy. However, the Security Exchange Commission has declined to comment on the matter and the Rochester company hasn’t admitted to being contacted by the organization. Concerns have been raised that company board members allegedly bought stock while the deal was under negotiation with the government. After news of this innovative deal was released to the public, Kodak disclosed in regulatory findings that stock options were issued to company executives and Kodak CEO James Continenza before stock share prices soared.
Kodak stated that there was a reason the stock option grants were approved and issued to shareholders. It was to preserve the value Kodak CEO Continenza had already earned prior to the dilution triggered by the old debt conversion. The Rochester company stated it’s appointing a special committee of independent directors. They will conduct an internal review of the company’s agreement process with the federal partnership to produce pharmaceutical products. They also stated they would fully cooperate with any inquires into the events surrounding this financial deal. Kodak will also have to deal with environmental restrictions and high labor costs involved in U.S. drug manufacturing.
The new venture of the Rochester company will be an interesting venture to watch over the coming months. It appears that the winter of their financial hardships is over and they are springing forward with renewed hope. Similar to the CDC recommendation for removing old bandages and checking for infections in wounds every 24 hours, Kodak is ripping off its old wounds. If they can clear the infections that have plagued them for years, they may be able to create numerous developments in modern medicine to benefit society. The bigger picture for this storied Rochester company is still processing yet in the darkroom and the results will soon come to light in regards to their pharmaceutical future.
The weather is finally getting nicer so it’s time to put the video game controller down, gather up the family, and do something fun! Here are some great ways to kill time and have a blast around the great city we call Rochester…
According to the National Highway Safety Administration (NHSA), there are approximately 1.5 million deer-related car accidents annually, leading to 175 to 200 fatalities each year. Of course, this number pales in comparison to the number of human pedestrians killed in traffic accidents each year (4,700), but in certain areas of the country, deer collisions are a real threat.
Clearly, the coronavirus has changed the world. There isn’t a person in the United States that has not been drastically affected by the COVID-19 crisis. Thousands of people have lost their lives, millions of people have lost their jobs, and virtually every single person is riddled with severe anxiety over the last few months.
Hopefully things are starting to return to at least somewhat normal, especially as phases one through four begin opening. But it’s imperative that every Rochester citizen remains vigilant and focusing on preventing the spread of this deadly virus.
Here are some important aspects to pay attention to as we reach the later months of the COVID-19 pandemic…
There isn’t an individual in the U.S. that hasn’t been affected by the coronavirus in some way or another. Hundreds of thousands of people have lost their lives, tens of millions of people have lost their jobs. And literally every single person in the country has been dealing with unprecedented levels of anxiety and fear.
Things are scary. That might be the understatement of 2020 — but they can and will get better. It’s just on us to do everything we can to better ourselves, our communities, and our world.
In Rochester and abroad, it starts with maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
During quarantine, it’s easy to slip into a funk and waste away your day eating junk food, watching 8 hours of Netflix, and including in some other unhealthy habits. Donuts and Netflix every once in a while is not a bad thing — in fact, it’s downright necessary. But you can’t do that too often because your health will be in serious jeopardy. You have to do everything you can to stay healthy so you can fight off any viruses and so you’re in a good mental state to get back to work and start building your future.
Here are some great tips for staying healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic and in the days, weeks, and months following…
During Governor Cuomo’s daily briefing at Rochester Regional Health in Irondequoit on Monday May 11, he announced that the Finger Lakes region — which includes Monroe County — is among those that have met the necessary criteria to reopen amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Cuomo’s “New York on Pause” order, which mandated that all non-essential businesses close their physical locations and all individuals only leave their homes for trips to the grocery store and other essential needs, goes through May 15. Any region that has met certain criteria can start to reopen after that date, while regions that have not met the criteria will see an extension of the stay-at-home orders through June 1.
There is no getting around it: COVID-19 continues to have a significant impact on local businesses. A great deal of uncertainty surrounds the virus, leaving many questions unanswered. What does the future look like for essential and non-essential businesses? When will things return to “normal?” Is it possible to fully return to the normal we once knew?
Several businesses are taking action into their own hands, not sitting idly by or waiting around for answers. Here are just a few things businesses are doing in a stirring show of perseverance, strength, and solidarity during these uncertain times.
Just a few short months ago, Wegmans made headlines for its willingness to lead the charge ahead of the statewide plastic bag ban. While annual polyethylene production clocks in at around 80 million tons worldwide, the popular grocery store chain was willing to be the first to tell its customers they’d need to make the switch to reusable or paper bags instead.
But now, Rochester’s hometown supermarket is being subjected to even more pressure to our rapidly changing world. As COVID-19 continues to impact thousands of Flower City residents, Wegmans is evolving almost as quickly as new cases are confirmed.
There is no doubt about it… the world will forever be different after the 2020 coronavirus pandemic. COVID-19 has impacted virtually everyone’s life in every part of the world. Families are shattered with grief, entire cities are shut down, and uncertainty and worry are sweeping the globe.
Across the U.S., hundreds of businesses have already filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy (liquidation bankruptcy) and owners are doing everything they can to keep their businesses afloat — but they’re running out of options. Unfortunately, small businesses are suffering just as much due to the nationwide quarantine, and Rochester is no exception.
As of Monday, April 20, there are 1,035 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Monroe County alone. Sadly, these wild times have all of Rochester anxious, with the majority of people either out of work or working from home. Also, social distancing with PPE gear and self-quarantine are being encouraged all over Rochester, New York, and the entire country.
Though it’s important to spend time having fun with your family so you’re not all just constantly worrying, you still need to be careful about a few things. Here are a few things that you should watch out for during this year’s national quarantine:
With the rate of COVID-19 infections on the rise in Rochester, everyone is on high alert. Folks have been encouraged to practice social isolation in order to stem the risk of infection. Now that the first death from COVID-19 in Monroe County has been confirmed, it makes sense that people are feeling uneasy.
The rapidly spreading new coronavirus is already taking its toll on Americans — and residents of the Flower City are now being encouraged to wait out the worst from the comfort of their own homes. With major holiday events and public school courses both on the cancelation list, it’s an eerie feeling for a city that normally has no shortage of things to do.
With the last lingering dregs of winter upon us, it can feel like spring will never arrive. The long, dark times of a Rochester winter can have a serious effect on people’s mood and health. Some people even develop SAD, or seasonal affective disorder, due to the low light of winter.
Whether you are suffering from SAD or just longing for the warmer days of spring, here are seven tips to get you through the final days of winter.
There’s no doubt that Rochester, New York is growing. As younger families move to the city and there becomes a greater demand for jobs and entertainment, new companies are discovering the advantages of rooting themselves in Rochester. Rochester has the advantage of being relatively close to big hubs with plenty of financial opportunities while remaining lowkey enough to remain affordable for newer companies. The state wants those companies to move to Rochester and is making efforts to further incentivize them. Long-term economic development plans, with state investments and job creation programs offering specific advantages to not simply businesses in general, but the specific types of businesses that Rochester wants to attract.
As much as Rochester residents have grown used to rough winters, colder weather can nonetheless be rough on all of us. It’s become particularly difficult to prepare for winter snowstorms due to the yearly fluctuations in temperatures, making them harder to predict. In this past season, the wintertime has already been expensive due to regular costs. Usually, you can expect to have about 42% of your utility bill made up through heating, though these costs can of course rise during particularly harsh winters. However, the seasonal costs will only rise due to the recent snowstorm. Many of them will be associated with damage done at home, and will, therefore, be taken care of by individual homeowners by and large. A big concern, according to a consumer survey, will be roofing — 65% of homeowners reported that this was their major concern following weather damage, and a snowstorm can certainly do a good bit of damage to a typical roof.
Most Rochesterians can’t imagine life without Wegmans. But soon, they’ll all need to remember their reusable grocery bags when they make a shopping trip — or else they’ll end up paying the price.
That’s because the chain has finally set the date of their plastic bag ban, ahead of New York State’s own that goes into effect on March 1. Starting on January 27, Wegmans shoppers statewide will no longer have access to the single use plastic bags they’ve grown accustomed to using (and adding to a growing collection in the hall closet).
Rochesterians know all too well that living in the Flower City comes with its caveats. While the city offers a plethora of cultural events, a rich history, and an exploding food scene, the harsh winters can sometimes make some forget why they live here in the first place. When you’re scraping ice off your car or shoveling snow in the driveway — whether it’s six inches of wet snow or 38 inches of dry snow, it’s all the same — you might curse your decision to settle down in the ROC. But you may change your tune when you hear about just how valuable your home might be.
According to the New York Post, Rochester seems to be a “grim and depressing” place to live. But anyone who loves the Flower City will tell you otherwise — even when it’s covered with that ubiquitous lake effect snow. Although people over the age of 55 are at least four times more likely to suffer a heart-related injury when shoveling the white stuff, many Rochesterians feel the harsh winters are well worth staying for.
Ever since Water Street Music Hall lost its entertainment license back in 2016, Rochester hasn’t been the same. The once-top venue in the music scene was the victim of violence and financial insecurity, causing the city of Rochester to question its safety.
After the Erie Canal was rerouted south of downtown Rochester, the Rochester
Industrial & Rapid Transit Railway (the subway) was built in
its place as a link between the five different railroads and interurban trolley
lines that served the Rochester area. As the industrial landscape of Rochester
changed, and highways replaced the railroads, the Rochester subway gradually
became a relic of a bygone era. In 1956 the subway was abandoned and much of
its route was converted into Interstate 490 built to connect Rochester
with the New York State Thruway (I-90). Read more about the history of the Rochester Subway.
RochesterSubway.com exists to help spark
public dialogue around how we can better connect the neighborhoods of Rochester
NY, surrounding communities, and their cultural offerings. Rochesters
future is written in her past. Let's rediscover it.