Sana Biotechnology
Key Areas
Data visualization
MOA illustrations
S-1 and 10k submission
Science writing
MOA animations
IR communication strategies
Corporate presentation support
Telly Awards
The Communicator Awards
MUSE Awards

Engineering cells
to be medicines

The Challenge

Sana Biotechnology is at the threshold of a new era of medicine. By focusing on creating and delivering engineered cells as medicines for patients, Sana is making it possible 
to reprogram or replace damaged cells and tissues – creating a new class of medicines to treat a broad array of diseases. Sana partnered with Cognition to tell the broad-reaching implications of its groundbreaking platforms to various audiences and across multiple mediums. We were tasked with visualizing and shedding light on the key challenges Sana faces, depicting the appropriate cells at scale, and showing them engraft, function, and persist to overcome immune rejection.


The Outcome

Partnering with the subject matter experts (SMEs) at Sana, 
we were able to bring attention and understanding to each 
of their platforms.

  • Sana’s Ex Vivo (Cell Therapy) Hypoimmune Technology Platform (HIP) differentiates stem cells into clinically needed cell types, focusing on hiding cells from the immune system.
  • Sana’s In Vivo (Gene Therapy) Fusogen Technology Platform leverages fusosomes to deliver a diverse set of complex biologic payloads to specific cells.

Our highly collaborate engagements with the SMEs allowed 
us to create meaningful, highly distilled scientific stories that balanced scientific accuracy with targeted messaging that was fit-for-purpose (e.g., IPO/S-1 filing, investor presentations, 3D general-audience animations) to reinforce information, deepen engagements, and help advance innovation.

Hypoimmune cells have been genetically modified to evade the body’s innate and adaptive immune responses. First, the human leukocyte antigen (HLA) class I & II, which act like a cellular ‘fingerprint”, are removed. Then CD47, the “don’t kill me” molecule is overexpressed, blocking macrophages and NK cells from destroying the cells.

The Process

Cognition’s efforts began with translating Sana’s innovative platforms through simplified diagrams for a clean, direct presentation within their S-1 documents and for investor engagements.

To then expand the visual story for broader audiences and website use, Cognition created two 3D mechanism of action (MOA) animations to explain Sana’s two platforms in more detail. Each animation served as a targeted, one-minute overview to quickly imprint the underlying science on the audience and increase awareness of each technology’s broad possibilities.


The foundation of these animations lay within our concise, engaging scripts that balanced onscreen visuals with the voice-over – allowing each part to play to its strengths (rather than falling into “see say” or having the voice-over explain everything the audience would see). This gave us the ability to pack in an immense amount of detail and key takeaways into a very short time frame. This balance was achieved through deep literature dives to understand the fundamental biology, collaborative interfacing with Sana’s SME’s for a deep awareness of their unique science, and an iterative approach between our science writing and storytelling teams.

We created an accessible visual identity for the cells, molecules, and environments that was bright and bold yet within Sana’s brand identity and color palette. To depict each platform clearly and accurately, we used color and lighting design to differentiate Sana’s genetically modified cells from those naturally occurring in the body. Using molecular structure data, we built custom animation rigs to depict realistic vesicle fusion and payload delivery. A consistent and cohesive look was maintained across the animations by creating and utilizing a custom library of 3D assets, materials, and lighting setups.

To ensure we delivered these high-science concepts in a relatable and understandable format within the 60-second time limit, the overall pacing and animation were kept energetic but simplified enough that the key points of the story always stood out.


“We could not be happier with the visually compelling way Cognition Studio was able to capture our in vivo fusogen platform technology. Their efficiency, professionalism, and expertise were key drivers in the success of our mechanism of action video, and we look forward to working with them on future projects.”

—Jagesh Shah, Ph.D, Vice President, Gene Therapy Technologies | Sana biotechnology

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