In recent years, cell free systems / cell free expression systems have emerged as a promising alternative for the conventional cell-based biomanufacturing process. It is a well-known fact that traditional biomanufacturing is a complex process that requires living cells and specific conditions in order to maintain proper homeostasis for cell growth. Moreover, cell based biomanufacturing imposes inherent limitations on the effective production of biologics. On the other hand, cell free system / cell free expression system are in-vitro platforms that harness the transcription and translation machinery of living cells, in the form of cell lysates, to synthesize various types of biologics, particularly proteins.
Overall, cell free system offers several advantages over the traditional process, including the ability to produce a broad range of target molecules by altering components suited for their production, higher yield, shorter development times and low cost of production. Cell free expression is carried out using cell free system or commercially available cell free expression kits. Cell-free protein expression systems have demonstrated to be capable of enabling the synthesis of several complex proteins, including toxic proteins, membrane proteins and other post translationally modified proteins, which have been found to be challenging to express using cell based systems. Given the growing demand for biologic products, cell free expression has become a key focus area for stakeholders in the biopharmaceutical industry. Owing to several benefits associated with cell-free systems, we anticipate the global cell-free biomanufacturing market to witness a healthy growth in the near future.
Cell Free System Market Landscape
It is worth mentioning that, currently, more than 35 players, which claim to offer services for cell-free synthesis. Majority of these players are based in the US, followed by those having headquarters in Europe and Asia Pacific.
Further, majority of the service providers offer biomolecule synthesis services followed by a substantial number of companies offering services for template construction. Moreover, owing to the increasing demand for biomolecules in large quantities, players are becoming increasingly involved in providing scale up services.
Further, over 90 cell free expression kits are presently available in the market for cell free expression of proteins, oligonucleotides and other biomolecules. Interestingly, most of these kits are used for cell-free protein expression.
Partnership Activity Focused on Cell Free Systems
Several stakeholders have been forging alliances with other industry / non-industry players in cell free expression market for product development, research and development and technology licensing purposes. It is worth highlighting that, since 2018, over 40 strategic partnerships have been inked in the industry. Majority of these agreements were signed for cell-free protein expression of complex proteins, including toxic proteins, membrane proteins and other post translationally modified proteins.
More than USD 8,250 Million was Raised by Players Engaged in Cell Free Expression Industry
The field has seen a significant rise in the number of funding instances over the past few years. Close to 20% of the total investments (in terms of the amount invested) were made in 2022 and the highest amount of funding (USD 4,237 million) was contributed by funding raised by Avantor Sciences in 2019. In addition, maximum funding was raised through IPOs followed by funding raised through venture rounds.
Future Evolution of Cell-free Biomanufacturing Market
Owing to the several advantages offered by cell free expression systems over traditional cell-based manufacturing, we anticipate the overall market to grow at an annualized rate of 7.5% between 2023 and 2035. Currently, microbial cell free expression systems occupy the largest share in the overall market; this trend is expected to remain the same over the forecast period, owing to the fact that this cell free system is most researched, cost-effective and capable of yielding large amounts of product.
Driven by the ability to synthesize wide variety of biomolecules (such as toxic proteins, membrane proteins and other post translationally modified proteins), cell free expression system has opened the doors to its applications in wider range of industries, including healthcare, chemical, cosmetic, and food industries. Further, considering the ongoing activity and existing trends in the market, we anticipate the global cell free expression market to witness a healthy growth in the coming years.
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