Workers stand near the KODAK billboard at Times Square, New York City.
plus49—Construction Photography/Avalon/Getty
July 29, 2020 12:12 PM EDT

Shares of Eastman Kodak Co. have leapt 2,441% higher this week, sending its market valuation to nearly $2 billion, after it won a government loan to help produce ingredients used in key generic medicines to fight the coronavirus.

Kodak, the storied photography giant whose business and shares were devastated by the switch to filmless cameras, gained as much as 655% on Wednesday, triggering at least six halts for volatility along the way. More than 110 million shares traded hands, more than 23 times its typical volume. The company’s value climbed to $1.99 billion as of 10:25 a.m. in New York, after closing on Friday shy of $100 million.

Kodak shares tripled on Tuesday on news of a $765 million loan to shift part of its factories to produce drug ingredients. The development bank loan was the first of its kind under the Defense Production Act in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Defense, and intended to speed production of drugs in short supply and those considered critical to treat Covid-19, including hydroxychloroquine, the controversial antimalarial drug touted by President Donald Trump.

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