16 April 2020, London As the race to develop new drugs to fight COVID-19 threatens an explosion of counterfeit medicines, Parabellum Investments, an international private equity firm specialising in mid-sized companies has acquired pharma serialization specialist Advanco, a global leader in tracking systems for serialised pharmaceutical products, with plans for international growth.
This marks the first move into the pharmaceuticals market by Parabellum Investments, whose Founder and CEO Rami Cassis becomes executive chairman of Advanco, with Alf Goebel as CEO.
Pharmaceuticals manufacturers around the world are currently racing to develop new vaccines and drugs to treat COVID-19, amid a rise in fake drugs. Advanco’s Serialization Software, sold under the ARC brand, allows manufacturers to track the serial numbers of every medicine, helping to protect revenues and safeguard health authorities and patients from counterfeits.
Brussels-based Advanco, which supplies global pharmaceuticals leaders like Pfizer, Zentiva, UCB and Helsinn, has revenues of Euro 4 million and its pharma serialization software is already used in over 35 countries worldwide. Now the company plans ambitious international growth, initially focusing on the US, Russia and Europe.
“The race is on to find new drugs to combat COVID-19, so there has never been a more important time for Advanco,” Mr Goebel said. “Pharmaceutical serialisation is critical to help leaders in international healthcare combat the market for counterfeit and stolen medicines which now looks set to rocket.”
“In the near future, almost every product is likely to be serialised. 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, has ethical and environmental applications,” said Rami Cassis, CEO of Parabellum Investments. “Advanco has a proven, resilient and scalable technology on which we plan to build with acquisitions in the coming years.”
Advanco was one of the original providers of product serialisation software, now seen as critical to stem the increase in counterfeit medicines and pharmaceutical products. The problem is particularly acute in developing countries, where the World Health Organisation last year estimated that one in ten medical products is either a counterfeit or fake.
Mr. Goebel brings over 25 years of enterprise software industry experience to Advanco and will oversee its customer success initiatives. Previously he has implemented similar initiatives and driven global growth at other technology-based companies, including Unisys, Snow Software, Netfira, MSC Software and Software AG.