Alcon was originally founded in 1945 as a small, ophthalmic shop in Fort Worth, Texas. Since then, it has developed into one of the leading producers of contact lenses in the world. CibaVision was founded in 1980 as a branch of the pharmaceutical division of Ciba-Gelgy from Atlanta, USA. In 1996, Ciba-Gelgy merged with the Sandoz company and together they created Novartis, one of the biggest pharmaceutical companies in the world, with CIBA-VISION being its leading eye-care department