Private equity firm buys anti-counterfeit firm Advanco

Serialization specialist Advanco has been bought by private equity firm Parabellum Investments in a deal that aims to expand it on the international stage.

Brussels, Belgium-based Advanco is already a player in the pharmaceutical serialization and track-and-trace market with its ARC platform, and currently claims more than 35 clients including Pfizer, UCB, Helsinn and Zentiva.

It runs offices in Istanbul, Turkey, and San Francisco in the US, but the takeover by Parabellum will help accelerate its international growth, according to the investment firm, which says the deal represents its first move into the pharma market.

Parabellum’s founder and chief executive Rami Cassis has been named executive chairman of Advanco, with recently-appointed CEO Alf Goebel retaining his role at the company, which has annual revenues of around €4m ($4.4m).

“In the near future, almost every product is likely to be serialised,” commented Cassis. “This gives peace of mind of knowing exactly how and where a product was made and, by authenticating sources of raw materials and the manufacturing process, with ethical and environmental applications.”

He added that Advanco has a “proven, resilient and scalable technology on which we plan to build – with acquisitions – in the coming years.”

Advanco is fairly well established in the European market, where it has benefitted from the implementation of the serialization requirements of the Falsified Medicines Directive, but still thinks there’s room to get bigger there.

Meanwhile, with Parabellum’s support it wants to expand its presence in the US, where serialization also underpins the ongoing roll-out of the Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA) as well as Russia which is in the latter stages of a traceability system roll-out, with a key deadline looming on July 1.

Goebel (pictured right) reckons serialization and traceability has become ever more important in light of increasing reports of falsified medicines amid the coronavirus outbreak.

“The race is on to find new drugs to combat COVID-19, so there has never been a more important time for Advanco,” he said.

“Pharmaceutical serialization is critical to help leaders in international healthcare combat the market for counterfeit and stolen medicines which now looks set to rocket.”

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