The global serum-free media market was valued at USD 740 million in 2021 and is projected to reach USD 2,370 million by 2030, growing at a CAGR of 14.1% during the forecast period (2022 - 2030). Serum-free media (SFM) allows researchers to grow a selected cell type or perform a selected application without serum. Serum-free media gives more consistent cell growth and helps eliminate possible errors by minimizing the percentage of uneven development among cell cultures. Consistency in cell culture coupled with superior cell growth with increased productivity makes it easier to use serum-free media for cell culture growth in biopharmaceutical production, research, and development.
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Growing Prevalence of Infectious and Chronic Diseases
The number of infectious and chronic diseases is increasing across the globe amid all the precautions and personal hygiene procedures being taken care of. In preventing chronic diseases, nutrition and diet are the most critical factors. In contrast, nutritional content in diet is deteriorating, which is the prominent factor for the growing prevalence of chronic diseases worldwide, specifically across developing countries, including Southeast Asian and Western European countries. Infectious diseases, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, different types of cancer, aging, and obesity are some of the chronic diseases caused by improper nutrition in the long term.
As per the World Health Organization (WHO), the burden of chronic non-communicable diseases (NCDs) will reach 57% in 2020 from 46% in 2001 in total deaths globally. The spike in infectious diseases has also led to advancements in R&D through serum-free media technology, which is expected to drive the overall global serum-free media market. Precise, early, and quick information related to basic cell biology and biochemistry and the interaction between cell and disease-causing agents like viruses and bacteria to study the effect of drugs are bringing about the developments in R&D of chronic and infectious disease treatment, resulting in the growth of global serum-free media market.
Rising Awareness of Disease Diagnosis through Diagnostic Technologies
In the early times, late and improper diagnoses of chronic, life-threatening, and infectious diseases due to inadequate instruments, improper diagnostic procedures, and people's unawareness of disease diagnosis resulted in the loss of many lives. With advancements in serum-free media procedures, devices, and reagents, the market for serum-free media started to snowball globally. Also, the prevalence of diseases such as cancer, cardiac ailments, kidney disorders, liver disorders, diabetes, and many others have started rising with changing daily life and habits. Quickly growing disease conditions increased awareness among people across developed, developing, and under-developed countries. Better control over physiological responsiveness and enhanced detection of cellular mediators is obtained through serum-free media, which helps in disease treatment through R&D and enhanced diagnostics.
Patient awareness is of utmost importance regarding disease awareness, which eventually results in precise and quick diagnosis. Perfection in diagnosis further helps choose the appropriate treatment option for a particular disease and patient. Currently, the patient is aware of early diagnosis for a condition, also called a preventive diagnosis. This diagnosis is made to monitor the average body working at a particular interval of time, which helps avoid severe and life-threatening disease conditions and adapt to better treatment options developed and enhanced through serum-free media. The overall rise in the patient pool with high awareness regarding disease diagnosis is expected to drive the global serum-free media market further.
Affordability for Serum-Free Media Technology
Affordability is the most critical concern faced by the global serum-free media market. Information through this technology is precise and provides quick results, making it popular among researchers and diagnostic professionals across developed and developing countries. However, serum-free media technology is costlier than other cell culture technologies. In developed regions, including North America and Europe, the inflow of investments in pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical companies on R&D for treating chronic and infectious diseases is rapidly increasing. This makes it possible for high-end serum-free media technology to be adopted by many companies.
Conversely, in the emerging, developing, and underdeveloped regions, including Asia-Pacific, South America, Central America, and the Middle East and Africa, pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical companies cannot afford to overspend on R&D for chronic and infectious diseases, which has slowed the adoption for serum-free media technology among these regions. This scenario is restraining the global market growth to some extent. Nonetheless, lowering the cost of serum-free media technology, including instruments, reagents, and consumables, and support initiations from government and public entities in developing and emerging nations is an effective way of supporting the global serum-free media market growth.
Comparatively Easier Downstream Process with Least Risk of Contaminants
The defined nature of serum-free media frequently makes the purifying process easier than serum media, referred to as undefined. A known serum-free medium composition that often contains additional components for cell development in place of the serum shortens the laborious process and enhances cell growth. The kind and dosage of each component added to serum-free media help precisely evaluate each component added to it. However, the protein content in serum-free medium is significantly lower, making downstream processing simpler than in serum-containing media. It lessens processing contamination and makes it easier to manage the cell environment in a serum-free medium.
The serum tends to interact with other elements of the medium or to start degrading on its own, increasing the possibility of errors in findings and binding. The risk is nullified in the event of serum-free media. When using a serum medium, the serum protein concentration may be higher than the concentration of recombinant protein made by mammalian cells. Although differentiation is challenging if the recombinant and serum protein share a similar molecular structure, the low protein concentration in serum-free conditions significantly lowers this possibility. The global market for serum-free media is expected to grow at a healthy rate over the next ten years due to these favorable attributes.
The global serum-free media market is segmented by type, end user, and region.
Based on type, the global market is segmented into CHO Cell Media, Immunology Media, Insect Cell Media, Protein Expression Media, Hybridoma Media, Stem Cell Media, and Others.
CHO Cell Media segment accounted for the largest market share and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 7.6% during the forecast period. Chinese hamster ovary cell media is optimized for suspension of CHO cells, including CHO-S and adherent CHO cells. CHO cell media is a chemically defined, animal-component free, serum-free medium developed for the long-term growth of Chinese Hamster Ovary cells and expression of antibodies or protein products in suspension cell culture. CHO suspension cultures can be subcultured directly into EX-CELL CD CHO from a serum-supplemented or serum-free medium with little or no adaptation. Such property contributes to market growth.
Protein Expression Media is the second largest segment. Protein Free Media contain no proteins but may contain yeast or plant hydrolysates; many are animal origin free. Protein expression media facilitates the downstream and production processing of recombinant proteins expressed in CHO cells. Pro-CHO medium is a protein-free formulation (no polypeptides >10 kDa) and contains only deficient levels of recombinant human 5.8 kDa hormone. Such characteristic contributes to segment growth.
Stem Cell Media is the fastest growing segment. The use of stem cells' adaptability and strength to heal genetic abnormalities, degenerative diseases, and tissue damage is the hallmark of the rapidly developing area of regenerative medicine. The stem cell media market is being driven because stem cells can self-renew and differentiate into various cell lineages, making them an invaluable resource in medical research and therapy. By delivering safer and more effective treatments for serious diseases, the clinical application of cell and gene therapies holds great potential. Consequently, the reasons mentioned above support market expansion.
Based on end-user, the global market is segmented into Biopharma Industry, Clinical Research Organizations, Research Centers, and Others.
The Biopharma Industry segment accounted for the largest market share and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 6.9% during the forecast period. Research and development in pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies are among the most critical areas for developing novel drug treatments. It helps add new and advanced products to the companies' product portfolio to increase revenue generation. As the severity of chronic, long-term, and genetic diseases is rising year over year, these companies are increasingly investing in R&D. Inflow of investments in R&D for the use of serum-free media to find a cure for chronic and genetic diseases is driving the biopharma industry segment among end users for the past few years. Researchers are actively looking for medications for the conditions through serum-free media techniques, boosting the biopharma industry segment growth.
Clinical Research Organizations is the second largest segment. Many renowned pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies hire contract clinical research organizations (CROs) to continue their research and development. It cuts off on the company's investments, improving profit margin for these companies. CROs are research-driven, improving R&D results and benefitting the host company. The increasing number of CROs in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology sector is one of the major factors driving the CRO segment in the global serum-free media market.
Research Centers are the fastest growing segment. The research center segment accounts for a relatively significant global serum-free media market share. This technique is widely used due to its advantages over other cultural media techniques. Some academic institutes across the US and Europe are investing heavily in advanced research of this technique to find a cure for infectious and genetic diseases. Government research laboratories in developed nations invest moderately in the method due to other gene editing techniques. On the other hand, research laboratories in emerging and developing countries have less inflow of investment for serum-free media technology, restricting the advancement of the method to be used widely.
Based on regions, the global serum-free media market is segmented into North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, South America & the Middle East, and Africa.
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North America accounted for the largest market share and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 5.6% during the forecast period. North America is the market leader in the global serum-free media market, and the region is further expected to continue its global dominance over the forecast period. Some factors transforming this region's growth trajectory are the established healthcare industry, refined healthcare, and medical infrastructure, high biopharma healthcare spending, the active presence of key industry players, and the high number of players with a strategic pipeline regarding the serum-free media. Additionally, research grants and funding are further supporting the developments in serum-free media and creating space for revenue opportunities.
The rising prevalence of infectious and rare diseases in the US and Canada is another prime factor that has elevated the demand for serum-free media techniques used in the R&D of developing novel drug molecules. As per the Rare Genomics Institute, 1 in 10 people suffer from rare diseases across the US. Also, the US has a significant adoption rate of serum-free media technology due to increased research activities and the affordability of high-end research technologies. Among these, serum-free media is becoming the critical choice in response to the time, cost efficiency, and other benefits associated with serum-free media over other culture media techniques used in pharmaceutical and biotechnology R&D.
Europe is the second largest region. It is estimated to reach an expected value of USD 544 million by 2030 at a CAGR of 6.6%. The serum-free media market in Europe is studied across major revenue-generating countries such as Germany, France, Italy, Spain, and the Rest of Europe. The region accounts for a healthy market share in the global market and is expected to further progress in regional market share. Germany, the UK, and France are some of the critical revenue-contributing countries in Europe. In February 2016, the UK became the first country to authorize the genetic modification of human embryos with a significant contribution from serum-free media and other related technologies for research.
Across Europe, serum-free media is the rapidly developing area of biotechnology and biopharma that allows research scientists to monitor and analyze the interaction between cell and disease-causing agents like viruses and bacteria, study the effect of drugs, and study the process of aging. The above factors are expected to drive the European serum-free media market during the forecast period.
Asia-Pacific is the fastest-growing region. The Asia-Pacific market is one of the fastest-growing global markets. Across Asia-Pacific, serum-free media technology is mainly adopted across key country-level markets, including China, India, Japan, Australia, and South Korea, as biopharma companies in these countries are investing heavily in R&D.
Asia-Pacific is anticipated to witness profitable revenue opportunities in the coming years as the region possess immense potential for serum-free media development due to rising number of R&D and clinical trial programs every year for chronic and severe diseases. Since this technique is anticipated to be helpful in the prevention and cure of complex conditions, such as cancer, heart disease, mental illness, and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection; the Asia-Pacific region is expected to create lucrative growth opportunities, further supporting the Asia-Pacific serum-free media market growth.