Visualizing engineered cells as medicine

Sana Biotechnology


Can we reveal the impact of a revolutionary platform in one minute?

With interdisciplinary collaboration and a deep understanding of Sana’s technology, we created concise and compelling animations that showcase the biotech’s platform capabilities.


Sana is leading the development of a new class of medicines. By focusing on creating and delivering engineered cells as medicine for patients, Sana is making it possible to reprogram or replace damaged cells and tissues to treat a broad array of diseases.

Sana partnered with us to tell the story of its gene and cell therapy platforms to various audiences, across multiple channels, through engaging animations. We were tasked with illuminating the core challenges Sana aims to overcome and ignite interest in the far-reaching possibilities of their engineered cells.

Fueling curiosity

Cognition’s journey with Sana first began when we translated their innovative platforms into simplified diagrams for their Series-1 (S-1) documents and investor engagements.

This clear, direct presentation of their science was perfect for their needs at the time. And as the company progressed, Sana saw an opportunity to evolve its visual storytelling to inspire further excitement in broader audiences that visited their website. They wanted concise animations to show their science “coming to life,” while keeping the complex underlying technology involved accessible. They also wanted to drive further site engagement by creating just enough curiosity to motivate their audiences to seek out more information.

Curating complexity

Cognition set out to create two targeted, one-minute, 3D mechanism of action (MOA) animations of Sana’s platforms:

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

The challenge was conveying the complexity of Sana’s story succinctly. To achieve this ,we built the foundation of these animations on concise, engaging scripts that balanced onscreen visuals with voice-overs. By allowing each to play to its strengths, we could pack immense detail and essential takeaways into one minute.

We struck this balance through a interdisciplinary process between our PhD science writing and certified medical animation teams. Together, we dove into key literature to understand the fundamental biology, and we collaborated with Sana’s SME’s to develop a deep understanding of their unique technologies.

To deliver these high-science concepts in a relatable, understandable format within the time constraints, we kept the pacing and animation energetic but simplified, emphasizing the critical story beats.


The Communicator Awards 2023 – Awards of Distinction  /  MUSE Awards 2023 – Gold Awards  /  The Telly Awards 2023 – Silver Award  /  The Telly Awards 2023 – Bronze Award  /

  • The Communicator Awards 2023 - Two Awards of Distinction

    The Communicator Awards 2023 - Two Awards of Distinction
  • Muse Awards 2023 - Two Gold Awards

    Muse Awards 2023 - Two Gold Awards
  • The Telly Awards 2023 - Silver and Bronze Award

    The Telly Awards 2023 - Silver and Bronze Award

Branding Sana’s science

The animations needed to convey its unique technologies and feel distinctly SanaWe created an accessible visual identity for the cells, molecules, and environments that were 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. We built custom animation rigs using structural molecular data 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.

As a result, Cognition created two compelling platform overviews that Sana uses to drive engagement, curiosity, and insight—not only on its website but throughout their presentations and beyond.

Client Testimonial

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, PhD Vice President, Gene Therapy Technologies, Sana Biotechnology