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Biopharma Company Engages WHO to Competitively Position its Product


A global biopharmaceutical company wanted to integrate its vaccine technology platform into the World Health Organization's (WHO) seasonal strain identification and selection processes. Our analysis enabled the company to differentiate its offering from competitors and initiate potential changes to WHO’s existing processes to accommodate innovative approaches to influenza vaccine development.

Client Type

Global biopharmaceutical company


The client was building a vaccine pipeline using its novel technology platform against various illnesses, including influenza. This technology platform distinguished the client’s influenza vaccine from many other influenza vaccines currently in use. To maximize its advantage against competitor vaccines, the client sought to assess WHO’s influenza strain selection processes and how those processes needed to be modified (e.g., accelerated) to account for the differentiating features of the client’s pipeline influenza product.

WHO plays a critical role in coordinating global, multi-stakeholder processes to select influenza strains for vaccine targeting. Because of the long time needed to develop and manufacture new vaccines, the strains targeted by a vaccine during influenza season may not provide strong protection against strains circulating that season. Vaccine manufacturers, therefore, explore ways to accelerate development and improve effectiveness of influenza vaccines.  Several novel vaccine platforms in development could offer advantages over traditional vaccines, and WHO may need to revise its processes governing influenza vaccine strain selection to accommodate these new products and technologies.


We helped the client understand current WHO processes regarding seasonal influenza strain selection and pandemic response coordination. We then identified critical opportunities for the client to differentiate its platform against competitors, defining specific points in the strain selection process that may need to be adjusted to account for novel technologies, proposing communication strategies for the client to convey the distinct value of its platform in the context of WHO processes, and identifying opportunities to create new processes via collaboration with other stakeholders.


Research and strategy outputs from the project enabled the client to refine its WHO engagement strategy and develop a plan to implement process reforms in the influenza strain selection process. Avalere also identified messaging targets and opportunities that the client will engage to advance awareness about novel influenza vaccines and illustrate the advantages of modifying existing strain selection processes—or developing new processes—to better accommodate new vaccine platforms.

Related Offerings


World Health Organization Influenza vaccines Strain selection Vaccine ecosystem
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