Buyout gives Advanco a bigger US footprint.
The looming November deadline for compliance with the Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA) represents a turning point of sorts: the majority of participants in the pharma supply chain—except for retail pharmacies—have contracts in place to implement the barcoding, data collection and transmission, and product verification requirements of that law. Thus, a lot of the business opportunity for new system sales by software vendors and systems integrators is already in place. However, there will still be a drawn-out slog in the US to get all systems functioning, and all the connectivity needed, for effective compliance. Additionally, pharmacy compliance is a bridge only some retailers have crossed.
One result of this is consolidation among solution providers, the latest being Advanco’s acquisition of Vantage Solutions. Advanco has an interesting pedigree: it is one of the vendors used by the Turkey Ministry of Health to help install a national track-and-trace serialization system in the 2008-2012 time frame—one of the first national implementations in the world. Its client base is now over 100, with 90% of its business in pharma. Vantage Solutions is a systems integrator and validation services provider, based in the US with a satellite office in Switzerland. Together, the two companies will be able to provide a “sophisticated suite of products and services across the full spectrum of the supply chain,” according to Alf Goebel, Advanco CEO.
Other recent consolidations in pharma track-and-trace include Dover Corp.’s buyout of Systech International (2020); NNIT’s purchase of Excellis Health Solutions (2020); and Antares Group’s rollup of rfXcel (2021) and Acsis (2022).
While there are still numerous opportunities in pharma supply chain work, Advanco (and others) are positioning themselves for traceability projects in other industries, such as food & beverage and cosmetics: “Other sectors are learning from the pharma industry and are looking to incorporate serialization as a key function,” says Goebel.