Global Serum-Free Media Market 2021

Market Overview

The global market for serum-free media witnessed a valuation of $1,022 million in 2021 and is projected to reach $3,921 million by 2032, with a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 12.73% during the forecast period from 2022 to 2032. The growth of the global serum-free media market can be attributed to factors such as the reduced risk of contamination in the media, increasing awareness of media-based diagnostic testing, and a significant amount of funding for research and development.

Cell culture plays a vital role in biotechnology, involving the controlled growth or replication of cells obtained from plant or animal sources in an artificial medium. It finds applications in various commercial and academic fields, including genetics, cell therapy, and regenerative medicine. Biotechnology also encompasses genetic engineering (GE), which involves modifying the genetic makeup of organisms through the manipulation of DNA. Cloning and genome editing are now commonplace in industries such as pharmaceuticals and agriculture, requiring enzymes with precise activity to facilitate these processes.

Product Type

Market Report

No. of Pages


Release Date

September 2022

Base Year


Forecast Period


Market Size

USD 1 billion in 2020

Market Segments

Media Type, End User, Region



No. of Companies Mentioned


The global serum-free media market is rapidly advancing, driven by increased research and development activities aimed at developing animal component-free products for disease detection. Serum-free media are essential in cellular diagnostics, ensuring safe and effective cell culture and cell therapy-based methods.

One significant opportunity in the serum-free media market is the growing investment in R&D for cell-based diagnostics. Clinical organizations and biopharmaceutical companies are collaborating on molecular biology applications, cancer research, metagenomics, and plant research using serum-free media to enable efficient diagnosis, treatment selection, dosage determination, and treatment monitoring.

Multiple techniques are employed in the development of serum-free media for cell culture, involving the removal of cells, tissues, or organs from animals or plants and transferring them to an environment conducive to their survival and proliferation. The selection of an appropriate growth medium is a crucial phase in cell culture. Different types of serum-free media are available, including common serum-free, xeno-free, chemically-defined, animal component-free, and protein-free media.

Common serum-free media have a precisely defined composition, ensuring consistency and eliminating the need to screen new lots of serum. They provide a safe environment for the growth of various cell types, removing the risk of infectious pathogens. Chemically-defined media are beneficial for physiological research and determining the minimal requirements of microorganisms, increasing productivity and reducing costs. Animal component-free media offer essential components for cell growth and performance similar to media with serum but without the associated drawbacks. They mitigate the risk of viral contaminants and improve regulatory approvals and speed-to-market. Protein-free media are ideal for protein production as they promote healthy cell development and high protein yield.

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a moderate impact on the global serum-free media market. While some market players experienced a slight decline in sales due to reduced manufacturing and output, the market regained momentum after the ease of restrictions in Q2 2021. Pharmaceutical companies ramped up manufacturing for vaccine production, generating revenue potential for serum-free media market participants. Lonza Group AG, a Swiss multinational chemicals and biotechnology company, gained recognition for its non-animal ProVeroTM1 Serum-free Medium used in vaccine manufacture.

Demand drivers for the global serum-free media market include the low risk of contamination, the launch of innovative products in the serum-free media ecosystem, and the relatively lower cost for small and medium enterprises compared to animal-derived media. However, the market may face limitations such as slower growth compared to serum-supplemented media and the requirement for specific media formulations for diverse cell types.

Market Segmentation

The market is segmented based on various factors, including media type, end user, and region.

Segmentation by Media Type
Common Serum-Free
Animal Component-Free

Segmentation by End User
Biopharmaceutical Companies
Academic and Research Organizations
Clinical Research Organizations

Segmentation by Region
North America
Latin America

In the media type segment, common serum-free media is anticipated to dominate the global serum-free media market. This can be attributed to its increased usage among manufacturers offering cell culture media and its status as the most widely used media type. In terms of revenue, common serum-free media accounted for 41.81% of the global market share in FY2021. It is commonly employed in various types of cell cultures. However, the fastest growing segment is xeno-free media, which is expected to witness a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 16.49% during the forecast period from 2022 to 2032. Xeno-free media is increasingly being utilized in a variety of cell cultures.

Common serum-free media refers to media designed for specific applications or the growth of particular cell types without serum. By utilizing serum-free media, benefits such as consistent performance, enhanced growth and productivity, better physiological responsiveness control, and a reduced risk of serum-borne contamination in cell culture can be achieved. Common serum-free media do not contain human or animal serum or plasma in their direct or basic constituents, although purified blood proteins like bovine serum albumin and human serum albumin may still be present. Lot-to-lot consistency is ensured through precisely defined compositions, eliminating the need to screen new lots of serum. Serum-free media not only facilitate the growth of various cell types for research purposes but also eliminate the threat of infectious pathogens. Due to its low nutrient content, serum-free media have fewer potential interfering substances and pollutants. Consequently, the purification process for the target protein becomes simpler and has a higher recovery rate.

The end user segment of the global serum-free media market is predominantly dominated by biopharmaceutical companies. The market growth is fueled by increasing research activities related to serum-free media worldwide, as well as the growing collaborations between industry and academia for new product development. In FY2021, the biopharmaceutical companies segment accounted for the largest share in the global market, holding 56.15% of the market. This trend is projected to continue during the forecast period from 2022 to 2032, with the segment expected to reach a market share of 60.19% in FY2032, growing at a CAGR of 13.44%. The adoption of serum-free media-based products by key players and biopharmaceutical companies involved in research and development is driving market growth. Technological advancements in serum-free media have revolutionized the cell therapy ecosystem provided by biopharmaceutical companies. The increasing demand for biopharmaceuticals in treating chronic diseases further boosts their production and contribution to the healthcare industry.

The global serum-free media market is primarily dominated by North America. This can be attributed to the presence of numerous biopharmaceutical companies in the region, along with substantial research funding for cell and stem cell-based products. However, Asia-Pacific is expected to be the fastest growing region due to technological advancements and the rising demand for serum-free media. In terms of revenue, North America held a market share of 42.79% in 2021. Nevertheless, Asia-Pacific is projected to achieve a growth rate of 14.73% during the forecast period from 2022 to 2032. China was the major market in 2021, followed by Japan, owing to their significant research and development activities in this field.

Competitive Landscape

The selection of the profiled companies was based on inputs collected from primary experts and an analysis of their company coverage, product portfolio, and market penetration.

Key companies profiled in this report include MP BIOMEDICALS, HiMedia Laboratories, R&D Systems, Inc., Sino Biological, Inc., PAN-Biotech., PromoCell GmbH, Athena Environmental Sciences, Inc., STEMCELL Technologies Inc., Corning Incorporated, Lonza Group AG, Merck KgaA, Sartorius AG, Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc., FUJIFILM Holdings Corporation, Danaher.

Recent Industry Developments

Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. announced in August 2022 the expansion of its cell culture media manufacturing facility in Grand Island, New York. This expansion was undertaken to support the production of new vaccines and biologics. The objective was to enhance worldwide media supply and increase capacity for the development of high-quality technologies.

In May 2022, FUJIFILM Irvine Scientific successfully completed the establishment of a new bioprocessing innovation and collaboration center in China. Through this center, the company aimed to leverage local resources and expertise to optimize cell culture media and workflows. The goal was to facilitate the production of vaccines, advanced therapies, and biotherapeutic medications in China.

During September 2021, Bio-Techne Corporation introduced a novel medium known as ExCellerate IpsC expansion medium. This medium was specifically designed to support IpsC research in the field of regenerative medicine.

In April 2021, PromoCell GmbH launched an upgraded version of its Keratinocyte Cell Culture Portfolio. The company expanded its animal-extract-free Keratinocyte Growth Medium 3, which enables standardized isolation and development of juvenile and adult Normal Human Keratinocytes.

In March 2021, PromoCell GmbH also introduced its improved third-generation Melanocyte Cell Culture Portfolio. The newly developed Melanocyte Growth Medium M3 is a serum-free, bovine pituitary extract (BPE)-free, and phorbol myristate acetate (PMA)-free media formulation.

Key Questions Answered

What is the role of media type in serum-free media, and what are the associated advantages of using serum-free media?

How important are recombinant proteins in cell culture applications?

What are the key trends shaping the global serum-free media market? How is the market evolving, and what is its future scope?

What are the major drivers, challenges, and opportunities in the global serum-free media market?

What strategies have key players in the global serum-free media market implemented to sustain competition?

What is the percentage share of key players in different key developmental strategies in the serum-free media market?

What is the regulatory scenario of the global serum-free media market?

What initiatives have governmental bodies taken and what guidelines have been put forward to regulate the commercialization of serum-free media products?

What was the market size of the global serum-free media market in 2021, and what is the projected market size for 2032?

What is the expected growth rate of the global serum-free media market during the forecast period of 2022-2032?

What are the different types of serum-free media used in cell culture? Which media type dominated the market in 2021 and why?

Which media type is expected to witness the highest growth rate and dominate the market in 2032?

What are the different application areas of the global serum-free media market? Which application type dominated the market in 2021 and is expected to dominate in 2032?

What was the market value of the leading segments and sub-segments in the global serum-free media market?

Which region is expected to contribute the highest sales in the global serum-free media market during the forecast period of 2022-2032?

Which region and country have the potential for significant expansion of key companies in the serum-free media market?

What are the leading countries in different regions that contribute significantly to the growth of the serum-free media market?

Who are the key players in the global serum-free media market, and what roles do they play in the market?

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Global Serum-Free Media Market 2021

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