Bausch & Lomb, one of the biggest brands in the contact lens industry, has risen from humble beginnings in a small optical shop in New York started by two German immigrants in 1853 to become a giant corporation.
The company’s products focus mainly on eyesight and eye health products and include contact lenses and lens care products, medicines for eye diseases as well as surgical implants and aids. Bausch & Lomb were the first to introduce a soft lens made from a hydrogel in 1971 and this became one of their worldwide contact lens brands, SofLens.
The SofLens brand caters for all types of vision correction and includes SofLens daily disposable contact lenses as well as a daily disposable lens for astigmatism. The full brand family includes a range of monthly and two-weekly disposable lenses and lenses that are suitable for extended wear of up to seven days as well as contact lenses for people with presbyopia. Bausch & Lomb’s other main contact lens brand is PureVision, which are monthly disposable lenses.
In May 2013, it was announced that Valeant Pharmaceuticals International would acquire Bausch & Lomb. Under the deal agreed, Bausch & Lomb will keep its name and become a division of Valeant, and Valeant’s current ophthalmology business will be incorporated into the Bausch and Lomb division. Valeant is a multinational pharmaceutical company that had revenues of $3.55 billion in 2012.
Johnson & Johnson – makers of Acuvue
Acuvue contact lenses are without doubt one of the strongest and most recognisable brands of contact lenses on the market. The company behind them, Johnson & Johnson, is a major global US conglomerate that sells products in over 175 countries around the world.
The company was founded by three brothers in 1885 and started off by selling surgical dressings. The subsidiary that makes Acuvue contact lenses, Vistakon, was acquired by Johnson & Johnson in the early 1980s. It was Vistakon’s investment in moulding technology and production processes that led to the introduction of Acuvue contact lenses in 1986.
The company continues to invest in research and development and some of the fruits of that investment included many patented contact lens technologies such as Hydraclear, Blink Stabilized lens design and Stereo Precision Technology Design.
The Acuvue brand family has expanded over the decades and now includes all types of lenses for all types of eye conditions. However, the Acuvue brand is especially well-known for its range of daily disposable contact lenses, which are branded under 1-Day Acuvue Moist, 1-Day Acuvue TruEye, and 1-Day Acuvue Moist for Astigmatism.
A relative newcomer to the major league of contact lens manufacturers, but a serious player nonetheless, Ciba Vision started out in 1980 and has grown into a giant, to the extent that in 2009 the company sold more than 1.9 billion contact lenses. Ciba Vision is in fact an eyecare division and was created from a merger of three companies: Ciba Vision, Alcon and Novartis Ophthalmics.
Ciba Vision’s research and development is behind some of the best selling brands of contact lenses on the market today, ranging from the ever popular daily disposable lenses Focus Dailies to more specialized multifocal and the extended wear range Air Optix Aqua. Ciba Vision remains at the forefront of innovative products and is a leader in the manufacture of coloured contact lenses.
Although the company name CooperVision was created in 1980, the actual roots of the company date back to 1958, since which time it has become one of the major contact lens manufacturers through a series of acquisitions and investments in R&D, which have led to many contact lens innovations. The company has research and development units in Canada, the UK as well as in Japan and this is one reason behind the innovative developments that have been introduced within its range of contact lenses.
CooperVision is the company behind such brands as [highlight]Avaira, Proclear and Biofinity[/highlight]. Together, these brand families offer a complete range of lenses for all types of eye conditions, including toric lenses for astigmatism and daily disposable contact lenses for those suffering from presbyopia. The technological developments pioneered by the company include Aquaform Technology and PC Technology, both of which are designed to create comfortable lenses that feel moist throughout the day.