Milestones

CIBA VISION was established in 1980 as a diversification effort of Ciba-Geigy's USA Pharmaceutical Division. In 1996, Ciba-Geigy merged with Sandoz to form Novartis, the world's leading life sciences company, and CIBA VISION became the eye care unit of Novartis.

In 1980, CIBA VISION entered the soft contact lens market. Through innovation, strategic acquisition and an ability to quickly meet market developments and emerging technologies, CIBA VISION has grown from a start-up to a company with more than $1 billion in sales.

CIBA VISION's rapid growth has been achieved through understanding the needs of our customers - practitioners, consumers, and trade partners - and delivering innovative, superior solutions. Our success is driven by a talented, progressive team of more than 6,000 associates who see challenges and opportunities in new and different ways.

Here are many of the milestones of success we have achieved along the way.

2004

  • Introduced O2OPTIXTM - a high-oxygen, breathable daily wear contact lens that provides whiter, healthy-looking eyes.
  • Introduced AQuify® 5-Minute Multi-Purpose Solution that cleans, disinfects, moisturizes and stores all kinds of soft contact lenses including silicone hydrogels.
  • Introduced SOLO-care AQUA® - a one-bottle lens care solution that locks in moisture and prevents lens dehydration giving you comfortable, moist lenses all day long, even in the toughest environments.
  • Completed the sale of our Surgical Business.

2003

  • CIBA VISION improves customer focus by expanding our North America sales force.
  • AOSEPT® Clear CareTM becomes the first one-bottle peroxide lens care solution cleared for use with rigid gas permeable lenses in the United States.
  • NIGHT & DAY® lenses receive FDA approval and clearance from Health Canada for therapeutic use and become available in plano.
  • AOSEPT® Clear CareTM becomes the fastest growing lens care solution in the United States.
  • CIBA VISION launches www.mycibavision.com - a convenient e-commerce solution for U.S. and Canadian eye care professionals.
  • CIBA VISION launches FreshLook DimensionsTM, the next generation of color contact lenses designed to beautifully enhance light eyes. CIBA VISION also launches two new FreshLook ColorBlends lenses - True Sapphire and Pure Hazel - that provide a more intense eye color change than other FreshLook ColorBlends colors.
  • AOSEPT® Clear CareTM is approved by Health Canada for seven-day storage of contact lenses.
  • AOSEPT® Clear CareTM and SOLO-Care® Plus are cleared by the FDA to add a specific indication for use with silicone hydrogel lenses.
  • AQuifyTM long-lasting comfort drops are introduced.

2002

  • CIBA VISION and Johns Hopkins begin post-market study with more than 5,000 wearers of NIGHT & Day® lenses.
  • Improved no-rub solution, SOLO-Care Plus® (containing Aqualube for enhanced comfort) is introduced.
  • Focus® DAILIES® Toric, the world's first daily disposable lens for astigmatism, launches first in Switzerland, then expands to include other countries throughout Europe as well as the United States and Canada.
  • NIGHT & DAY® lenses receive a CE mark in Europe for therapeutic use.
  • Results of a multi-center study show that four out of five patients prefer AOSEPT® Clear CareTM.
  • AOSEPT® Clear CareTM launches in Canada.
  • Glen Bradley, CEO of CIBA VISION announces plans to retire and Joe Mallof is named as his successor.
  • CIBA VISION launches FreshLook RadianceTM, lenses that illuminate both light and dark eyes without changing the natural color.
  • A new manufacturing process is introduced to make FreshLook® color contact lenses more comfortable than ever.

2001

  • Ophthalmics pharmaceutical is transitioned from CIBA VISION to become Novartis Ophthalmics, a separate eye health unit operating under the Pharmaceutical Division of parent company Novartis AG.
  • Integration of CIBA VISION and Wesley Jessen sales teams completed - the combined CIBA VISION sales force becomes the largest in the industry.
  • SOLO-care® PLUS, a one-bottle, no rub, no rinse lens care solution, receives a CE mark.
  • The launch of Focus® DAILIES® Progressives, the world's first daily disposable contact lens for presbyopia - providing a vision correction alternative to bifocal spectacles and reading glasses - is expanded, with a June launch for the U.S. and Canada.
  • Solo-care® Plus launches in Europe.
  • AOSEPT® Clear CareTM, the first one-bottle, no-rub lens care solution with no added preservatives launched in the U.S.
  • The FDA Advisory Panel recommends the approval of NIGHT & Day® for up to 30 nights continuous wear.
  • CIBA VISION acquires an exclusive license from the UltraVision Corporation to market and distribute the Choice A.B.TM aberration-blocking soft contact lenses.
  • CIBA VISION's Focus® DAILIES® Lens - the number one daily disposable lens in U.S. - is dispensed with new fits and lenses.
  • U.S. FDA approves NIGHT & DAY® contact lenses for extended wear of up to thirty nights of continuous wear.
  • CIBA VISION completes integration of Wesley Jessen Systems.
  • NIGHT & DAY® lenses lead silicone hydrogel lens market in Europe; category up about 100 percent.

2000

  • CIBA VISION gains FDA approval in the U.S. and Therapeutic Products Programme of Health Canada approval to market VisudyneTM Therapy for the treatment of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the leading cause of blindness in people over the age of 50 in the western world. Visudyne has subsequently been approved in Argentina, Brazil and Malta.
  • AOSept Plus, a preservative-free, no-rub, no-rinse lens care system is launched in Europe, offering the power of peroxide in a convenient one-bottle solution.
  • An agreement is announced for CIBA VISION to acquire Wesley Jessen, a leading worldwide developer, manufacturer and marketer of specialty contact lenses.

1999

  • CIBA VISION obtains CE mark approval to market NIGHT & Day® in Europe, for up to 30-nights continuous wear.
  • Launch Focus® Progressives, easy to fit, soft contact lenses for bifocal wearers.
  • SOLO-CareTM becomes the first one-bottle multi-purpose cleaning and disinfecting solution to receive FDA clearance for the 10-minute indication for both soft contact lenses and rigid gas permeable lenses.
  • Market approval received in Switzerland, the first country to offer VisudyneTM Therapy, to treat of age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

1998

  • Mexico launch of NIGHT & Day®, which contains a breakthrough, high-oxygen soft contact lens material, called lotrafilcon, allowing sufficient oxygen to reach the eyes, even during sleep, with up to six times more oxygen than an ordinary soft contact lens.

1997

  • Introduce AOSept®, with the AODisc® neutralizer built into the lens case for increased patient convenience and compliance.

1996

  • Announce merger plans of Ciba-Geigy and Sandoz to form Novartis.
  • Formal merger of Novartis approved. CIBA VISION becomes the eye care unit of this world leader in life sciences.
  • Launch Focus® DAILIES® one-day disposable contact lenses, establishing an entirely new level of performance and affordability for the daily disposable contact lens category.

1994

  • Launch a revolutionary five-minute lens care system in the U.S. under the brand name QuickCARETM.

1993

  • Acquire Laboratories Faure in France, and launch SOLO-CareTM, a one-bottle cleaning and disinfecting solution, in Europe.

1991

  • Launch Illusions® (tefilcon) eye-color-changing soft contact lenses for dark eyes.
  • Relocate US corporate headquarters, optics, research and development, and administration 35 miles north of Atlanta, Georgia, in the suburb of Duluth.

1990

  • Introduce first soft contact lens exclusively for programmed replacement: Focus® (vifilcon A) Monthly Replacement Lenses. Expanding into ophthalmic pharmaceuticals.

1988

  • Acquire the CooperVision range of lens care products outside the United States.

1985

  • Acquire American Optical Company's contact lens and lens care product lines, including the AOSEPT® Disinfection/Neutralization System.

1984

  • Become one of the first major manufacturers to market a soft contact lens that enhances eye color: Softcolors® (tefilcon).

1983

  • Introduce BiSoft®, the first FDA approved soft bifocal contact lens. Enter the European contact lens market with the acquisition of the Titmus Eurocon contact lens business.

1981

  • First to market with a visibility tinted soft contact lens.