Case Study

Can mRNA medicine change the world?

Through precise science storytelling and design, we communicated the science of mRNA as medicine for Moderna’s numerous drug candidates, including essential materials about its COVID-19 vaccine, ensuring they were informative and understandable.

About the issue

Moderna has been at the forefront of messenger RNA (mRNA) as research and its potential to re-engineer mRNA to be a versatile therapy for anything from rare diseases to cancer to a vaccine for COVID-19.

Early on, as a private biotech company, Moderna focused on several patent filings, quiet clinical trials, and publications that indicated its intent but provided little detail on its technology. As Moderna’s clinical development pipeline expanded, it gathered interest and scrutiny. At the time, Moderna sought to quell uncertainty about its platform and strengthen its scientific credibility with potential investors and partners.

Opportunities for intentional impact

In late 2016, Moderna reached out to Cognition to help create visualizations to accompany their drug candidate research, hoping to translate mRNA as medicine into tangible and clear reasons to believe in their science and technology. Fast forward to December 6, 2018, Moderna became the biotech industry’s largest initial public offering (IPO).1 This brought heightened inquiry and attention to the company and its platform technology. As Moderna grew, Cognition was there to support them with their DCs, animations, R&D Days, Science Days, Vaccine Days, journal covers, and corporate citizenship, to name a few.


Rx Club 2021 – Award of Excellence / Rx Club 2018 – Award of Excellence

  • Rx Club 2021 - Award of Excellence

    Rx Club 2021 - Award of Excellence
  • Rx Club 2018 - Award of Excellence

    Rx Club 2018 - Award of Excellence


Over the years, Cognition has worked with Moderna on multiple communication fronts to visualize its story and show why mRNA as medicine matters to a broad audience. Cognition was able to advance Moderna’s messaging with numerous strategic storytelling solutions including custom, scientifically credible mechanism of action (MOA) and mechanism of disease (MOD) illustrations, 3D visualizations, patient-friendly animations, and numerous supporting graphics and designs for publications, media use, presentations, and two TED Talks.

Client Testimonial

Thank you one hundred fold over! All the presentations were exceptional and the visuals could not have been better! It was a true pleasure to work with you, and I look forward to many future joint projects.

Melissa J. Moore, Ph.D. Chief Scientific Officer, Moderna Therapeutics