Nagoya, Japan, 31 October 2011 – Menicon Holdings BV and Eye Shelter SA, a wholly owned subsidiary of Laboratoires Thea, a France-based independent ophthalmic group, announced on October 31 that Menicon is to become Eye Shelter's exclusive partner to market the SOLOCARE AQUA® contact lens solutions range in member states of the European Economic Area and Canada.
The agreement will enable Menicon to significantly strengthen its geographical presence by establishing new affiliates in countries where Menicon products have not been available, particularly markets in the Nordic countries, Eastern Europe and Canada. Upon completion of the expansion, Menicon will have more than 70 sales professionals dedicated to the contact lens business in Europe alone. The company expects to reach considerably more eye care practitioners with a broader range of products, and thereby better meet the needs of contact lens wearers across Europe and in Canada as well.
The products included in the scope of this partnership will also reinforce Menicon's overall activities in the area of soft lens care. SOLOCARE AQUA® brings additional safety benefits from the antimicrobial lens case and increased convenience in the form of a five-minute "express" cleaning/disinfecting process.
"This partnership represents a major step in our growth strategy and opens numerous opportunities for both our existing and new businesses," said Menicon Holdings BV President Toshio Matsushima. "Synergies realized through our enhanced product portfolio will help to boost sales for Menicon molded soft lenses and custom-lathed RGP and silicone hydrogel lenses."
Eye Shelter selected Menicon because of its uncompromising commitment to health and safety, strong experience, complementary product portfolio and strategic focus on expansion in Europe and the Americas.
Menicon will take over distribution of the SOLOCARE AQUA® and AQuify® brands as soon as all regulatory assignments have been completed between CIBA VISION (former owner of the SOLOCARE AQUA® and AQuify® products in territories included in the scope of this partnership) and Eye Shelter, which is expected on March 31, 2012, at the latest. In the interim, all parties concerned will work closely to effect a smooth transition of the distribution business to Menicon.
SOLOCARE AQUA® and AQuify® are registered trademarks of Novartis AG, used under license by Eye Shelter SA.