AJL Ophthalmic S.A. turns 30 on July 1, 2022, being the only Spanish company dedicated to the manufacture of intraocular lenses and other medical devices for the field of ophthalmology. Currently, the company from Alava has more than 70 employees, 85 distributors around the world and a growth of 190% in the last decade.
AJL Ophthalmic S.A. was founded on July 1, 1992 in Las Arenas (Bizkaia) initially dedicated to the distribution of medical supplies imported mainly from the USA. Six years later, AJL Ophthalmic built its own manufacturing plant in the Álava Technology Park, located in Miñano. In this plant the foundations are established to develop a line of implants for the field of ophthalmology.
At the beginning of the new century, important research and development work is being carried out on new products in order to improve its global competitiveness and meet the demand of the health sector. 2006 was a key year for AJL Ophthalmic, as it strengthened its management structure to address the challenge of opening up new markets abroad in order to boost the export of its products. In 2007 AJL Ophthalmic opened a new line of business with the design of an optical laryngoscope and an intubation cannula in order to improve the safety and efficacy of anesthesia processes for patients.
In 2010 AJL Ophthalmic inaugurated the current facilities also in Miñano, thus having a two-story building with a surface area of 3000m2. The facilities have solar panels on top that generate part of the electricity it consumes. In the field of manufacturing, it has ISO 7 and ISO 6 class clean rooms and ethylene oxide and steam sterilization chambers.
Among the products that AJL markets, most are manufactured in the company itself. The rest of the turnover comes from the distribution of other products such as instruments, surgical packs or other equipment and accessories for ophthalmological surgery. AJL Ophthalmic’s outstanding products include intraocular lenses, implants for the surgical treatment of glaucoma, intrastromal rings for keratoconus, and iris expanders, among others. 51% of turnover comes from self-manufactured products.
AJL Ophthalmic abroad
Today AJL Ophthalmic has a more prominent presence abroad. In 2013, it acquired the entire North American company Addition Technology Inc (ATI), the only company globally with FDA approval to market intracorneal rings for the treatment of keratoconus. The integration of ATI together with Ferrara e Hijos S.L., exponentially boosted the company’s exports, thus making 29% of the turnover currently due to exports, when in 2010 it only accounted for 5%.
An inclusive company
AJL Ophthalmic is a company committed to diversity and the inclusion of women in positions of responsibility. Its three management positions are managed by three women, thus making AJL Ophthalmic a modern company that is committed to equality in society. In addition, among the workforce, there are two people with reduced hearing capacity and a specialist in the area of keratoconus from Ukraine, a refugee from the war in her country.
AJL Ophthalmic continues to grow and innovate day by day thanks to its R&D department, which is why it has also developed its own line of AJL VET products for the veterinary sector and to meet the demand for specific ophthalmological products for dogs and cats.