BTG set to gain £6m from sale of contact lens patent

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The Independent Online

BTG, a company specialising in intellectual property rights, yesterday said that the sale of a contact-lens patent would provide it with a "substantial one-off payment".

BTG, a company specialising in intellectual property rights, yesterday said that the sale of a contact-lens patent would provide it with a "substantial one-off payment".

It is believed that the sum due to be paid to the company amounts to more than $10m (£6m). BTG said that the payment was expected to contribute to a significant reduction in its operating losses for the current year. Analysts have forecast losses of £4.7m for 2000.

Bausch & Lomb, the manufacturers of sunglasses carrying the Rayban name, exercised their option to buy the patent for the manufacturing process used to make disposable contact lens sold under the SofLens name.

Bausch & Lomb signed a licence agreement for the manufacture and sale of the lenses in 1996, along with the option to buy the patent after four years.

The manufacturing process was invented by two men working from a garage in Scotland, who then sold it to BTG. The pair will receive half of the payment due to Bausch & Lomb.

Ian Harvey, the chief executive of BTG, said yesterday: "This shows how effective BTG is at supporting and bringing new technologies to the healthcare industry.

"This has ultimately created a substantial new business in Scotland, where the SofLens one-day contact lenses are now manufactured."

BTG shares closed down 160p to 1,420p.

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