Bausch & Lomb
Bausch + Lomb is a Canadian eye health products company based in Laval, Quebec, Canada. It is one of the world's largest suppliers of contact lenses, lens care products, pharmaceuticals, intraocular lenses, and other eye surgery products. The company was founded in Rochester, New York in 1853 by optician John Bausch and cabinet maker turned financial backer Henry Lomb. Until its sale in 2013, Bausch + Lomb was one of the oldest continually operating companies in the US.
|Founded||Rochester, New York|
|Headquarters||Laval, Quebec, Canada|
|Dan Wechsler, Executive VP and Group Chairman|
|Products||Eye-care products and equipment|
Number of employees
Bausch + Lomb was a public company listed on the NYSE until it was acquired by private equity firm Warburg Pincus in 2007. In May 2013, it was announced that Canadian-based Valeant Pharmaceuticals would acquire Bausch + Lomb from Warburg Pincus for $8.57 billion in cash. The deal, which was approved by shareholders, included $4.2 billion earmarked to pay down Bausch + Lomb debt and closed on August 5, 2013. Today, the company employs about 12,000 people in 36 countries.
In 1853, John Bausch and Henry Lomb, both German immigrants, established a small but ambitious workshop producing monocles in Rochester, New York. By 1861, their operation had expanded to manufacturing vulcanite rubber eyeglass frames and other precision vision products.
Early growth of the company
During the American Civil War, the Union blockade caused the price of gold and European horn to rise dramatically. This resulted in a growing demand for the Bausch & Lomb spectacles made from vulcanite.
In 1876, Ernst Gundlach joined the company as it began to manufacture microscopes. Later that year, the Bausch & Lomb Optical Company won a distinction at the Philadelphia Centennial Exposition. The company also produced photographic lenses (1883), spectacle lenses (1889), microtomes (1890), binoculars and telescopes (1893). From 1892 in cooperation with Zeiss in Germany, the company produced optical lenses. In this manner, at the end of the 19th century, the product range included eyeglasses, microscopes and binoculars, as well as projectors, camera lenses and camera diaphragms.
Expansion of production at the beginning of the 20th century
With the growth of the US army, under President Theodore Roosevelt and the buildup of the naval fleet, Bausch & Lomb received the commission, through the supplier Saegmuller, to manufacture high-precision lenses for optical measurement and founded a joint venture with Saegmuller. At the same time as this new expansion, a research department with five members was started to develop new products and improve old ones. A new alliance with the Zeiss company in Germany ensured competitive advantages for the three participants, Bausch & Lomb, Saegmuller and Zeiss, in terms of patent use and opening new markets. In 1902, William Bausch, the son of the founder, developed a process to create the desired lens shape directly by casting molten glass. Previously, the glass parts for the lenses had to be separated, ground and polished in a complicated process, and this brought significant savings in time and materials.
The company produced the first optical-quality glass in America during the early to mid-1900s. By the year 1903 the company began manufacturing microscopes, binoculars, and camera shutters.
The First and Second World Wars
The further development of the firm was affected by political events. Because of the World Wars and the consequent need for optical instruments such as field glasses, range finders, camera lenses, binocular telescopes, searchlight mirrors, torpedo tube sights, and periscopes, the product range could be considerably broadened. Until World War I, optical glass and the instruments made from it (including many military instruments) were often imported into most European and North American countries from Germany. The same was also true of chemical products and laboratory equipment. The outbreak of the war, with Germany's new enemy status, created a scramble to rapidly enhance the domestic industries. In 1933, Bausch + Lomb started to honor outstanding high school science students with the Bausch+Lomb Honorary Science Award. In the 1930s, military products represented 70% of total production. The Ray-Ban brand of sunglasses was developed for pilots in 1936.
Period after 1945
At a time when the cinema was being superseded by television, Bausch & Lomb developed improved optics for the CinemaScope process, which popularized the film-based anamorphic format and led most cinemas to double the widths of their screens.
After three years of development work, two years for the medical approval by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and an investment of three million USD, Bausch + Lomb brought the first contact lenses made of Poly-HEMA on the market in 1971. In contrast to the contact lenses available up to that time, made of glass and Lucite (acrylic glass), the new lenses were softer, and were marketed with the brand name "Soflens".
A massive restructuring of the company began in the mid-80s. What had been the core divisions, the production of lenses for various purposes, were sold off. The sunglasses division was continued as Ray-Ban and kept selling very well due to effective product placement. By the planned acquisition of other firms, such as Polymer Technology Corporation and Dr. Mann Pharma, existing business areas such as contact lens production were strengthened and new ones were initiated. Finally in 1997, as a result of a series of company acquisitions, the division for the production of surgical products was established. The Ray-Ban brand of was sold in 1999 to the Italian Luxottica Group.
Company developments in recent years
Since then, Bausch & Lomb has developed into a globally operating company which is one of the largest producers of contact lenses. Today, about 13,000 employees in 36 countries work for the firm. Total turnover for the year 2006 was estimated at US$2.29 billion. The company's competitors in the international eye care products market are Johnson & Johnson, Allergan, Alcon and Ciba Vision (Novartis), MSD-Chibret and CooperVision.
|John Jacob Bausch||President||1885–1926|
|M. Herbert Eisenhart||President||1935 – December 1950|
|Joseph F. Taylor||President||January 1951 – November 1954|
|Carl S. Hallauer||President||November 1954 – March 1959|
|William W. McQuilkin||President||March 1959 – May 1971|
|Jack D. Harby||President||May 1971 –|
|Daniel G. Schuman||CEO||– April 1981|
|Daniel E. Gill||CEO||April 1981 – December 1995|
|William M. Carpenter||CEO||1996 – June 1998|
|Gerald Ostrov||CEO||2008 – March 2010|
|Brent Saunders||CEO||March 2010 –|
Business areas are divided into three large divisions:
- Vision Care: contact lenses and eye-care products.
- Pharmaceuticals: medicines for various eye diseases and irritations.
- Surgery: aids and implants.
In the last few years, several business areas in the Vision Care division have been developed in the framework of product diversification. The manufacturing of contact lenses still accounted for 28% of Bausch & Lomb's turnover in 2001, making it its main business activity. The "SofLens One Day" soft contact lens range have to be changed every day. The product assortment includes higher quality lenses, such as the "SofLens Comfort" or "Seequence" lenses which can be changed after two weeks. The "SofLens66 Toric" were specially designed for people with astigmatism. Lenses from the "Boston" range have a higher oxygen permeability and are more suited for people with sensitive or dry eyes. The newest and most advanced lens range is called "PureVision". These lenses are so oxygen-permeable that they can remain in the eye up to 30 days without being taken out at night. The second largest business, at 25%, is the manufacture of lens-care products. As well as simple combination cleaning and disinfectant solutions for both soft and hard lenses, pH neutral solutions are available for people with particularly sensitive eyes.
The Pharmaceuticals division manufactures pharmaceutical eye products, which account for 21% of turnover. This range covers prescription medicines for eye irritation, allergic reactions or high eye pressure. A further breakthrough is expected from the new Envision TD product range. This represents a new process for the precisely located dispensing of active substances to the eye. This is achieved by medical implants behind the eye. Due to the body's absorption process, the implant slowly decomposes and in so doing releases the desired active substance directly to the eye over a long period. Additionally, vitamins can be dispensed to counteract bacterial infection and allergic reactions, thus reducing loss of vision with advancing age. The development of this division was speeded up by take-overs of other firms.
The Surgicals division is divided into Refractive Surgery with 8% of turnover and Cataract Vitreotinal Surgery with 18%. The latter division is concerned with products for operations on glaucoma and cataracts and on the cornea, as well as implantable, interocular lenses. The Refractive Surgery division comprises mainly medical analysis devices and lasers required for eye surgery. In order to strengthen this division, the competing, market-leader companies Storz and Chiron were acquired.
Bausch + Lomb was in a lawsuit with Novartis which claimed to have patents on a Bausch + Lomb product called PureVision. On June 26, 2002, a federal judge ruled that Bausch & Lomb did infringe on Ciba Vision (a subsidiary of Alcon) patents.
On July 2, 2004, the company announced that it had licensed the intellectual property of Novartis. Bausch & Lomb will pay the Ciba Vision unit of Novartis a royalty on net U.S. sales of its PureVision brand contact lenses until 2014 and on net sales outside the U.S. until 2016. But as of now, the brand FreshLook comes under Bausch and Lomb and Ciba manufacturers it.
Biotrue Solutions and Contact Lenses
Biotrue contact lens solutions are a brand of cleaning and storage solutions manufactured by Bausch & Lomb that were developed to match the natural lubricant found in the eye. It matches the pH of healthy tears and helps to keep certain beneficial tear proteins active while removing deposited proteins that distort a wearers vision. In theory this helps to keep a users contact lenses more comfortable. In 2012 an affordable line of daily disposable contact lenses were launched under the same brand name for both single vision and for users with presbyopia. They were first introduced in Italy and quickly followed by the United Kingdom and the Nordics. In 2015 they were approved for the US market. Biotrue one day contact lenses are made from a material called HyperGel and manufactured in the country of Ireland.
ReNu product recalls
On April 11, 2006, Bausch & Lomb stopped shipments of its ReNu with MoistureLoc contact lens solution when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced there was a high correlation between use of the product and cases of suspected fungal keratitis. The Centers for Disease Control found that "nearly all of the company's ReNu with MoistureLoc eye care products were linked to severe fungal eye infections". Two class action lawsuits have been filed against Bausch & Lomb in relation to the eye fungus problems.
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