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In today’s complex healthcare and media landscape, stakeholder mapping has never been more vital for pharma M&A communications. For corporate communications and public affairs professionals navigating the multifaceted terrain of mergers and acquisitions, the precise identification of key stakeholders can significantly shape the success of their campaigns.

Commetric’s Influencer Network Analysis (INA) has revolutionised the traditional approach to stakeholder mapping. The traditional PR view of influencer identification has been primarily on audience size, often sidelining the critical context of discussions. Commetric’s INA dives deeper, focusing on the topic at hand and thus provides a much richer, nuanced understanding of the stakeholder landscape.

When it comes to pharma, the Commetric approach transcends the usual suspects of HCPs, academics, and journalists. It encompasses a broader net, capturing patient advocates, health authority figures, politicians, and corporate spokespersons – each with a crucial role in the discourse surrounding M&As.

Case Study: Pfizer’s Acquisition of Seagen

The following hypothetical case study showcases how Commetric’s Influencer Network Analysis (INA) can guide major pharmaceutical players in understanding and navigating complex M&A communications.


As Pfizer seeks to acquire Seagen, they aim to leverage key opinion leaders (KOLs) to facilitate seamless communications regarding the merger, and to foster support from various stakeholders, including regulators, investment analysts, patient advocacy groups, and healthcare professionals. The ambition is for the KOLs to provide invaluable insights from the pre-acquisition phase to the post-integration analysis.


Navigating the Pfizer-Seagen deal demands the identification of KOLs who can influence a broad spectrum of stakeholders. While a stakeholder’s previous engagements and contributions to the industry are key, Pfizer recognises the imperative of discerning quality over sheer quantity in these interactions. The inundation of data in news articles, scientific journals, blogs, and forums, further complicates the task of pinpointing KOLs who can genuinely influence the narrative. Moreover, unlike traditional drug developments, M&A communications encompass aspects like financial implications, competitive positioning, and regulatory considerations, which aren’t the typical forte of many conventional KOLs.


Powered by proprietary AI and ML technology, Commetric’s team of expert analysts develops a sophisticated search query to create a relevant sample of media articles related to the Pfizer-Seagen merger and the broader oncology space. This vast repository of articles is perceived as a singular “media discussion”.

Through Commetric’s patented INA methodology, the discussion is deconstructed to identify all the named entities it encompasses – from financial experts to oncology specialists. Each entity is thoroughly assessed for relevance, and manually refined by the analyst team, categorising each by influencer type, role, topic, and sentiment.

Guided by communication theories, the team discerns the intricate ways in which information about the merger is propagating within the pharma sector. As new data regarding the merger’s implications emerges, it leads to ambiguities regarding its potential impacts. KOLs, having substantial clout within their networks, would then elucidate these uncertainties.


Harnessing the insights from the INA, Pfizer could strategically engage with KOLs who hold significant sway across different stakeholder groups. This not only facilitates a well-informed discourse surrounding the merger but also helps in assuaging concerns, clarifying ambiguities, and highlighting the merger’s potential to revolutionise cancer care. Through this proactive and data-driven approach, Pfizer can ensure that the narrative surrounding the Seagen acquisition is both positive and factually grounded. The following example stakeholder insights can help Pfizer create value through its M&A communications:

  • Investment Analysts: Highlighting the value addition and potential market gains, especially given Seagen’s innovative track record in the antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs) space, with its role in 4 out of 12 marketed ADCs.
  • Consultants and Advisers: Emphasising the strategic alignment of the two companies, focusing on Seagen’s pioneering role in ADCs over two decades and Pfizer’s extensive footprint.
  • Banks: Addressing the financial robustness of the combined entities, emphasizing the broadening of Pfizer’s oncology portfolio and Seagen’s promising clinical programs.
  • Competitors: Signaling Pfizer’s enhanced capabilities in the oncology sector and its intent to lead, underscoring Seagen’s industry-leading ADC platform.
  • Media: Stressing the benefits to cancer patients and the combined potential of Pfizer and Seagen to revolutionise cancer care.
  • Regulators: Emphasizing adherence to safety, efficacy, and other regulatory standards, and the commitment to transparently navigate any regulatory challenges.
  • HCPs: Highlighting the expanded therapeutic arsenal, particularly Seagen’s advanced ADCs, and the potential to provide enhanced patient care.
  • Patient Advocacy Groups: Stressing the intent to provide innovative treatments faster to patients and reaffirming the commitment to addressing diverse cancer types.
  • KOLs: Leveraging their influence to disseminate the strategic benefits of the merger, especially in accelerating the development and distribution of Seagen’s ADCs.
  • Payers: Emphasizing the potential for more cost-effective cancer treatments through the combined capabilities of Pfizer and Seagen.

Ready to Elevate Your Pharma M&A Communications?

Dive into the power of Commetric’s Influencer Network Analysis (INA) and transform your stakeholder mapping strategy. With the intricate challenges posed by the dynamic pharma sector, you need relevant, comprehensive, and actionable insights. By identifying and engaging the right influencers and key opinion leaders (KOLs), you can ensure your message resonates powerfully and authentically with every stakeholder. Discover how our INA can shape the narrative of your next big venture.

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