Amazon powers Moderna's digital biotech platform

By The Science Advisory Board staff writers

August 6, 2020 -- Amazon Web Services (AWS) is providing cloud, analytics, and machine-learning services to Moderna for its messenger RNA (mRNA) platform and manufacturing facility.

The AWS-powered research engine helped Moderna deliver the first clinical batch of its COVID-19 vaccine candidate, mRNA-1273. Moderna has been able to quickly design research experiments and uncover new insights, automate laboratory and manufacturing processes, and comply with laws and regulations using Amazon's services.

Moderna has developed proprietary technologies and methods that run on AWS to create its mRNA constructs. Moderna's Drug Design Studio allows the company to quickly design mRNA sequences for various protein targets, followed by analytics and machine learning to optimize the sequences for production and subsequent physical testing. Amazon Redshift, AWS's fully managed data warehousing service, is being used to aggregate results from dozens of experiments being run in parallel. Moderna scientists and engineers can easily query and share insights to refine designs and production.

Moderna's automated production facility utilizes AWS internet-of-things services to connect instruments, robotics, and other critical systems for ease of manufacturing tracing. AWS can also be used to essentially copy and paste Moderna's digital manufacturing model to partner facilities for technology transfer, providing rapid access to additional production capacity.

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