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Science with a difference

Launching a new concept in drug discovery

Published: 12 Sep 2011


Tudor Reilly differentiated D3’s approach and produced a new brand identity.

Client: D3 of the Italian Institute of Technology (IIT)

Agency: Tudor Reilly

Campaign: Launching a new concept in drug discovery

Timescale: November 2008 to June 2010

A quick look

The average mid-sized pharma company receives 2,000+ approaches each year from biotechs looking for an enabling, cash-rich partner. In such a crowded market, it’s hard to be noticed and for a new medicine to be given the chance to make it to patients. Tudor Reilly worked with the leadership team of the Italian Institute of Technology to differentiate its approach to scientific discovery at its newly created drug discovery and development unit (D3). The agency planned a successful launch event and created a compelling brand identity that captured D3’s entrepreneurial spirit and mission.


Large pharmaceutical companies are experiencing a decrease in innovation, while academic laboratories – though highly inventive – are focusing more on basic science than on the commercial validation of their discoveries.

At the same time, the number of biotechnology companies competing for the attention of potential pharmaceutical companies is on the increase.

The Genoa-based Drug Discovery and Development Unit (D3) of the Italian Institute of Technology (IIT) is an academic institution structured like a biotechnology start-up that combines industry-born commercial awareness with academic innovation. Its model is an answer to the innovation gap that the drug development industry is currently facing, but it is not alone among biotechnology companies claiming a similar model.

Tudor Reilly was asked to differentiate D3’s approach and produce a new brand identity that would resonate with potential pharmaceutical partners and investors.


First, Tudor Reilly worked with the leadership team of the IIT to organise a launch event, providing a forum for industry, academia and healthcare venture capitalists to share insights on the future of drug discovery. Tudor Reilly invited key speakers and high-profile guests to a press conference, a round table discussion and a tour of the laboratories.

Following the launch, an audit of leading industry figures established the emerging trends in biotechnology and how D3 fitted into the evolving paradigm. Using the audit results, key messages were developed that defined, differentiated and demonstrated the organisation’s value.

A new strapline, Getting to the core of 21st century disease, and accompanying visuals, were developed to create a compelling brand identity that visually represented the ambitious visions of D3.


Out of over 100 attendees, 97% reported that the D3 launch event was well worth attending. The event secured significant original media coverage in over 25 media outlets both globally and across Italy, appearing in titles such as SciBX, Pharma Times, La Repubblica and Wall Street Italia, attracting the attention of potential partners in both the pharmaceutical and investment industries. D3 is now in discussions with a potential US-based partner over a possible joint venture.

Client verdict

"Tudor Reilly has provided outstanding support in launching D3 to the media and raising our profile among potential partners. The launch event was a great success and attracted high-level industry players as well as global and national media. Tudor Reilly has helped us to ensure our communications deliver consistent messages in a compelling way. We are thrilled with the new executive summary, strapline and brand identity as they capture our innovative culture and entrepreneurial spirit."

Dr Daniele Piomelli, Scientific Director

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