Bausch & Lomb building on silicone hydrogel demand

Rochester, NY—Increased demand for Bausch & Lomb's PureVision SVS contact lens has the company potentially shifting gears away from its PureVision Toric lens, which was to be introduced in the United States this summer.

Bausch & Lomb said it was "reassessing" the launch plan in light of "overwhelming demand" for the single-vision spherical lens-fueled by a faster-than-expected shift toward silicone hydrogel lenses-and said it wanted to capitalize on the trend. However, the company said overall production of the PureVision line was ahead of schedule and assured it would launch the PureVision Toric lens in the United States as soon as it had built sufficient inventory to meet the anticipated demand.

Meanwhile, the company said its SofLens66 Toric lens continues to grow at double-digit rates, giving the company flexibility with its PureVision Toric launch plans.

The flurry of excitement is bound to continue as the company progresses with a major expansion of its main research and development center in Rochester, NY. The $35 million project-$25 million for new construction and $10 million for renovations, equipment, and machinery-will include up to 200 new research jobs over the next 2 years. The building will see a new two-story, 75,000-square-foot glass-and-brick wing for laboratories and offices, and will offer room for a future 25,000-square-foot addition. Completion is slated for early 2007.

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