The young manufacturing arm of 1-800 Contacts outside of the USA plans to launch globally a new product, the AquaSoft Singles, whose special packaging allows users to carry some 30 soft lens in a single small packet. ClearLab has high hopes for the product, which will be the first sold by the company in the USA. Shortly afterwards, the company will launch its current range of Methafilcon, Ocufilcon, Etafilcon and Hioxifilcon contact lens products in the country.

In the past, ClearLab has cautiously shied away from selling its products to the U.S. market for fear of encroaching on its U.S.-based parent company's established business. But as ClearLab begins to experience more demand for its products, while continually reporting losses, the company realizes it may not be able to afford missing out on this large market. Thus, last July 1-800 Contacts appointed an investment banking firm, Sonenshine Partners, to undertake a strategic review that may lead it to spin off ClearLab.

In the 2nd quarter ended July 1, ClearLab's net sales rose by 17.4 percent to $5.4 million, but the company's net loss grew to $5.5 million, as compared to a loss of $2.0 million in the year-ago period. The company is currently unconcerned with its losses, saying that it is a young start-up operation with a long-term view for the success of its technology.

For its clear range of lenses, ClearLab has set up a 24-hour online ordering service in the UK, with a planned replacement scheme for patients and order tracking. The system will make it possible to deliver lenses to eyecare professionals or directly to patients' homes. Separately, ClearLab has expanded the power range of its clear 1-day daily disposable from +4.00 to -8.00 diopters.