- Eastman Kodak Co. is promoting a study it says makes its flagship business park ideal for pharmaceutical manufacturers to set up operations. The report, commissioned by a local utility, comes from Global Location Strategies (GLS), a firm that advises companies about site selections.
- GLS identified transportation, utility and workforce characteristics that may make the Rochester, New York-based park attractive for drug developers. The location sports a 117-megawatt firm capacity; has access to a 2,400 gallon-per-minute de-mineralized water supply; is less than 10 miles from an international airport; and is in close proximately to more than 2,100 people working in the pharmaceutical industry.
- "The highest value is created here when a company needs several of the assets we have, and through this analysis from GLS, we know we have a lot to offer the biopharma industry," Dolores Kruchten, president of corporate real estate and Eastman Park division and VP at Eastman Kodak Co.
New technologies and the mass-adoption of cell phones with built-in cameras has crimped the film industry. Kodak, for instance, has watched two-thirds of its stock value deteriorate in the last year alone, with shares trading a little under $5 a pop by early March.
Kodak's rival Fujifilm Holdings Corp. has faired better, however. That's because the Japanese company moved to diversify its portfolio as the market for film became shakier. Now, it has hands in cosmetics, nutritional supplements, medical devices and imaging, and — perhaps most notably — pharmaceuticals.
In the past 12 months, Fujifilm committed $130 million to expand its mammalian cell manufacturing facilities in the U.K. and Texas, and invested another $4.15 million to take a 12% equity stake in gene therapy startup EdiGene Corp.
On the surface, film and drug production may seem worlds apart. Yet both require chemical manipulation, intricate manufacturing processes, and fair amounts of water and electricity — similarities that don't seem lost on Kodak, Fujifilm and others.
"As the industrial hub for the Eastman Kodak Company, the site was built to handle everything from the manufacturing of film to the packaging of a diverse range of Kodak products. This generated a diverse range of capabilities that went largely unappreciated by the outside world," GSL said in a Feb. 27 statement.
The company added that Rochester "has a strong business cluster of biopharmaceutical product and diagnostics companies with many opportunities for new companies. Ortho Clinical Diagnostics, leading global provider of in vitro diagnostics, operates in Eastman Business Park."