EP: Rayner & Sophi: A Match Made in Heaven

In January 2024, Rayner, a global leader in ophthalmic solutions, acquired THIS AG, the innovative Swiss manufacturer of the Sophi phacoemulsification machine. In this episode, Prof Paul Ursell, president of UKISCRS in the United Kingdom, engages in an exclusive interview with the CEO of Rayner, and the Vice President of R&D for Sophi and Managing Director of This AG, to explore the details of the acquisition and discuss the future of this collaboration.


Prof Paul Ursell is one of the UK’s leading cataract surgeons having performed over 7,000 cataract operations in a career spanning more than 25 years. As one of the few surgeons to be awarded an MD degree on modern cataract surgery, he has published over 20 peer-reviewed papers on cataract surgery. He is current President of the Council of UKISCRS (United Kingdom & Ireland Society of Cataract & Refractive Surgeons) and is the Royal College of Ophthalmologists representative to the EU, and Vision 2020 lead for dementia and sight loss.

Tim Clover is the CEO of Rayner. He has spent 30 years in the medtech/pharma industry and served as NED, Director and Chairman of several boards internationally, especially in the ophthalmic market. He brings to Rayner extensive knowledge of medical devices, ophthalmic services and strategic investment.

Thomas Köppel is an electronic engineer by training and has worked in various international companies in the past, including on ophthalmology-related medical devices. He is the Founder of This AG, a high-tech start-up company that offers innovative ophthalmic systems. His entrepreneurial spirit and his vision led him to create Sophi.

Key Takeaways:
This AG and Sophi: Thomas Köppel shares insights into the journey of developing the Sophi phaco machine, emphasising its human-centered design, wireless capabilities, and modern design.
Reasons for Acquisition: Tim Clover discusses Rayner’s decision to acquire Sophi, highlighting the machine’s strong focus on science and technology, high quality, and potential to grow Rayner sales.
A Winning Bundle: Tim Clover explains that ~50% of IOLs are sold through bundles with phaco machines. The acquisition of the Sophi phaco machine opens up a new part of the market that had been closed for Rayner for a long time and offers ophthalmologists the opportunity to use Rayner IOLs and have a state-of-the-art phaco machine at the same time.
Professional Education: The acquisition also promises to develop greater professional education, by being able to organise educational seminars that include the use of a Rayner phaco machine.
Sustainability Initiatives: Tim Clover emphasises Rayner’s commitment to sustainability, detailing efforts to reduce single use plastics in IOL packaging, moving to electronic IFUs, and reducing energy consumption used to manufacture products.
Sophi Availability: As of March 2024, Sophi is available in the following countries: The Netherlands, South Africa, Germany, Mexico, Singapore, Tunesia, Denmark, Kazakhstan, Belgium, Jordan, Indonesia, Venezuela, Ukraine, India, United States, Hungary, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Morocco, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Philippines, Australia, Lithuania, Saudi Arabia, Irak, Taiwan, Italy, Russia, Czech Republic, Latvia, Vietnam, Egypt, Brazil, Poland, Argentina, and the United Kingdom.

Learn more about the Sophi phaco machine at www.sophi.info or speak to your local Rayner representative.

Additional Resources:

Follow Prof Paul Ursell on Social:
Prof Paul Ursell | LinkedIn

Follow Tim Clover Social:
Tim Clover | LinkedIn

Follow Thomas Köppel on Social:
Thomas Köppel | LinkedIn