Microbial Fermentation CMO Market

Microbial Fermentation CMO Market (2nd Edition): Industry Trends and Global Forecasts, Till 2035: Type of Expression System (Bacterial Expression Systems, Yeast Expression Systems and Other Expression Systems), Type of Biologic (Recombinant Proteins, Enzymes, Plasmid DNA, Antibodies and Others), Company Size (Small, Mid-sized, Large and Very Large), End-User (Pharma / Biotech Companies and Academic/ Research Institutes) and Key Geographical Regions (North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific and Rest of the World)

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Microbial Fermentation CMO Market Overview

The microbial fermentation CMO market size is projected to grow from $3.6 billion in 2024 to $9.1 billion by 2035, representing a CAGR of 8.7%, during the forecast period 2024-2035. The new research study consists of market trends, detailed market analysis, market landscape of microbial fermentation service providers, company competitiveness analysis, partnerships and collaborations analysis, recent expansions, microbial fermentation technology platforms, big pharma initiatives, and market forecast and opportunity analysis.

Microbial Fermentation CMO Market, by Geography, 2024-2035 (USD Billion)

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The growth in microbial fermentation contract manufacturing market over the next decade is likely to be driven by the increasing popularity of alternatives to traditional antibodies. These alternatives include nanobodies, designed ankyrin repeat proteins (DARPins), and single-chain antibodies, among others. For many of these molecules, microbial expression systems demonstrate superior and more efficient productivity. Further, there has been increase in outsourcing of microbial fermentation, as customers seek to leverage specialized expertise available with contract manufacturers.

Driven by several blockbuster products and burgeoning pipeline, biologics have become a key focus area for stakeholders in the pharmaceutical industry. Manufacturing of biologics including proteins, peptides, antibodies, enzymes, hormones and growth factors require an adequate expression system. Since the discovery of recombinant DNA technology, several types of microbes have been identified as versatile biomolecule expression systems. This can be attributed to the robustness of these microbial cell lines (compared to cells of higher eukaryotes), rendering them a popular choice for biopharmaceutical manufacturing. Presently, there are a number of traditional and innovative microbial expression systems / platforms, based on bacteria, fungi and yeast, which are used for manufacturing a variety of conventional and complex biologics, specifically smaller biologics such as cytokines, growth factors, plasmid DNA, nucleic acids, single-domain antibodies, peptibodies and non-glycosylated antibody fragments.

Although biopharmaceuticals offer significant profit margins and have been proven to be effective in treating a myriad of diseases, these products are generally known to be associated with high costs of development and complex manufacturing protocols. Therefore, for biologic developers to keep up with the growing demand for such products, outsourcing has become a popular operating model in this market space. In fact, there are currently more than 120 contract manufacturing organizations (CMOs) offering services for the development and production of various types of biologics, using microbial expression systems.

Microbial Fermentation CMO Market Share Insights

The market report presents an in-depth analysis of the various service providers that are involved in providing microbial fermentation services, across different segments, as defined in the table below:

Microbial Fermentation CMO Market: Report Attributes / Market Segmentations

Key Report Attributes Details
Historical Trend 2018-2023
Base Year 2023
Forecast Period 2024-2035
Market Size Value in 2024 $3.6 Billion
Market Size Value in 2035 $9.1 Billion
Growth rate CAGR of 8.7% from 2024 to 2035
Type of Expression Systems
  • Bacterial Expression Systems
  • Yeast Expression Systems
  • Other Expression Systems
Type of Biologic 
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Enzymes
  • Plasmid DNA
  • Antibodies
  • Others
Company Size
  • Small
  • Mid-Sized
  • Large and Very Large
End Users
  • Pharma / Biotech Companies
  • Academic / Research Institutes
Key Geographical Regions
  • North America
  • Europe
  • Asia-Pacific
  • Rest of the World
Leading Market Players
  • AbbVie 
  • BOC Sciences
  • Eurofins
  • FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies
  • GSK
  • Lonza
  • Sandoz
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  • Market Landscape Analysis (Service Providers)
  • Company Competitiveness Analysis
  • Partnership and Collaborations Analysis
  • Expansions Analysis
  • Microbial Fermentation Technology Platforms
  • Big Pharma Initiatives
  • Market Size and Opportunity Analysis

One of the key objectives of this market report was to estimate the current market size, opportunity and the future market growth potential of the service providers in the microbial fermentation market, over the forecast period. Based on multiple parameters, likely adoption trends and through primary validations, we have provided an informed estimate on the market evolution during the forecast period 2024-2035.

The market report also features the likely distribution of the current and forecasted opportunity for service providers in the global market across various segments, such as type of expression system (bacterial expression systems, yeast expression systems and other expression systems), type of biologic (recombinant proteins, enzymes, plasmid DNA, antibodies and others), company size (small, mid-sized, large and very large), end-user (pharma/ biotech companies and academic/ research institutes) and key geographical regions (North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific And Rest of the World). In order to account for future uncertainties associated with some of the key parameters and to add robustness to our model, we have provided three microbial fermentation CMO market forecast scenarios, namely conservative, base, and optimistic scenarios, representing different tracks of the industry’s evolution.

The opinions and insights presented in the market report were influenced by discussions held with stakeholders in the industry. The report features detailed transcripts of interviews held with the following industry stakeholders:

  • Manufacturing Specialist, Very Large Company, India
  • Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Large Company, Italy
  • Vice President of Business Development, Small Company, Canada 
  • Business Development and Marketing Manager, Mid-sized Company, Spain
  • Business Development and Marketing Manager, Mid-sized Company, Taiwan
  • Business Development Manager, Small Company, Spain 

Further, all actual figures have been sourced and analyzed from publicly available information forums and primary research discussions. Financial figures mentioned in this market report are in USD, unless otherwise specified.

Market Share by Type of Expression System

The global microbial fermentation CMO market is segmented into different type of expression systems used, such as bacterial expression system, yeast expression system and other expression systems. The bacterial expression system is likely to occupy the highest share in 2024 and is expected to remain dominant during the forecast period. This can be attributed to its cost-effectiveness in culturing, ease of genetic manipulation, and fast production of recombinant proteins.

Market Share by Type of Biologic

This segment highlights the distribution of the microbial fermentation CMO market across different type of biologics manufactured, such as recombinant proteins, enzymes, plasmid DNA, antibodies and other types of biologics. Owing to the efficient production of recombinant proteins utilizing microbial expression systems, these biologics hold the largest market share in 2024. It is worth highlighting that with the increase in demand for next generation therapeutics, the market size of plasmid DNA will increase with higher CAGR in the forecast period. 

Market Share by Company Size

The global microbial fermentation CMO market is distributed across small, mid-sized, and large and very large companies. It is worth highlighting that, presently, majority of the market value is occupied by large and very large contract manufacturers. This can be attributed to the fact that these companies currently hold the majority of installed microbial fermentation capacity.

Market Share by End User

This segment highlights the distribution of the microbial fermentation CMO market across different end-users, including pharma/ biotech companies and academic/ research institutes. Currently, the pharma/ biotech companies hold the largest share of microbial fermentation services market, and this trend is likely to remain the same in the coming years.

Market Share by Key Geographical Regions

This segment highlights the distribution of the market opportunity across various geographies, such as North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific and rest of the world. According to our projections, Europe captures the major share (46.9%) of the global market opportunity, and this trend is unlikely to change in the future. It is worth highlighting that the microbial fermentation services market in Asia-Pacific and rest of the world is expected to grow at a relatively higher CAGR, during the forecast period, 2024-2035.

Microbial Fermentation CMO Market Key Insights

The “Microbial Fermentation CMO Market, 2024-2035: Distribution by type of expression system (bacterial expression systems, yeast expression systems and other expression systems), type of biologic (recombinant proteins, enzymes, plasmid DNA, antibodies and others), company size (small, mid-sized, large and very large), end-user (pharma / biotech companies and academic/ research institutes) and key geographical regions (North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific And Rest of the World)” report features an extensive study of the current market landscape, market size and future opportunities associated with service providers within the microbial fermentation domain, during the given forecast period. The market report highlights the efforts of several stakeholders in this rapidly emerging segment of the service providers industry. Key takeaways of the microbial fermentation services market report are briefly discussed below.

Advantages of Outsourcing Microbial Fermentation

Producing biologics in-house requires extensive manufacturing expertise and capabilities, including the design, construction, and maintenance of specialized production facilities. This undertaking involves significant capital investments that can be prohibitive for some companies. Furthermore, the increasing demand for advanced therapeutic products has necessitated large-scale manufacturing to meet market needs. Consequently, many pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies are opting to outsource their biologic production to contract development and manufacturing organizations (CDMOs) that possess the requisite infrastructure, technical know-how, and required capacities to manufacture these complex molecules efficiently and cost-effectively. By leveraging the specialized capabilities of CDMOs, companies can focus on their core competencies in research and development, while ensuring a reliable and scalable supply of their biologic products.

Competitive Landscape of Microbial CMO

The current market landscape features the presence of over 120 contract service providers offering various services related to microbial fermentation; these include microbial strain development, microbial cell banking, analytical validation, process development, scale-up, downstream processing, aseptic fill finish manufacturing, regulatory support. Further, the microbial fermentation CMO market features the presence of small, mid-sized, large and very large companies having the required expertise to offer contract manufacturing services across the globe. In addition, they have undertaken several initiatives, such as entering into partnerships, and expanding their existing capabilities and capacities, in order to cater to the increasing demand for biologics manufactured via microbial fermentation.

Microbial Fermentation CMO Market Trends: Increasing Partnerships and Collaborations With and Amongst the Service Providers to Foster Progress and Innovation

Microbial fermentation service providers have forged several partnerships with other stakeholders in order to develop biologics and enhance their service portfolios. It is worth highlighting that increase in partnership activity has been witnessed in 2022 and 2023, wherein several agreements were signed. This can be attributed to the rise in demand for microbial biopharmaceuticals in recent years. Notably, majority of the deals are focused on acquisitions of other companies in the global market, followed by manufacturing agreements, and product development and manufacturing agreements. This can be attributed to the incessant efforts of service providers to further advance the development of their service offerings for different applications within the microbial fermentation market.

In February 2024, 3P Biopharmaceuticals merged with Biovian to form 3PBIOVIAN. The company will offer end-to-end development and manufacturing services for all protein expression systems and viral vectors, both for drug substances and drug products, from preclinical to clinical development and commercial production. Further, in February 2024, Chr. Hansen also merged with Novozymes, creating Novonesis. Such partnerships are expected to drive microbial fermentation market growth during the forecast period.

Microbial Fermentation CMO Market Drivers

The microbial fermentation CMO market growth is primarily attributed to the advantages offered by microbial expression systems over other systems, such as cost-effectiveness, high productivity, and the ability to genetically engineer microbes to produce a wide range of pharmaceutical compounds, including antibodies, proteins, peptides, and small molecules. In many cases, microbial fermentation can achieve higher productivities and yields compared to alternative expression platforms. Additionally, a shift has been observed in the biopharmaceutical pipeline, towards more diverse biopharmaceuticals, and microbial fermentation is well-suited for producing such biologics, including nanobodies, DARPins, and single-chain antibodies.

Advancements in microbial engineering, including improvements in genetic engineering, metabolic engineering, and fermentation process development, have further enhanced the capabilities of these systems. Finally, the increased rate of outsourcing microbial fermentation processes to specialized contract development and manufacturing organizations (CDMOs) has contributed to the rise in the use of microbial fermentation in the pharmaceutical industry, as companies leverage the expertise and infrastructure of these specialized providers.

Microbial Fermentation CMO Market Size

The global market opportunity for microbial fermentation contract manufacturing is estimated to be $3.6 billion in 2024. In terms of type of expression used, the market size for yeast expression system is anticipated to grow at a relatively higher CAGR of 9.1% during the forecast period 2024-2035. The microbial fermentation CMO market growth can be attributed to the fact that yeast can be utilized to express complex proteins, proteins with high molecular weight and high density. Further yeast expression systems are not susceptible to contamination as compared to other expression systems.

Regional Analysis: Europe Holds the Largest Microbial Fermentation CMO Market Share

Presently, close to 50% of the market opportunity is created by the demand for microbial fermentation services in Europe. This can be attributed to the fact that majority of microbial fermentation facilities are present in Europe, and these occupy the major share of installed microbial fermentation capacity across the globe. Further, the market value for microbial fermentation contract manufacturing in Asia-Pacific and rest of the world is expected to grow at a relatively higher CAGR of 9.7% and 10.0% respectively, during the forecast period.

Leading Microbial Fermentation Service Providers

Examples of key microbial fermentation service providers (which have also been captured in this market report, arranged in alphabetical order) include 53Biologics, Abbvie Contract Manufacturing, AGC Biologics, Ajinomoto Biopharma Services, Aldevron,, Aumgene Biosciences, BioCina, BioVectra, Creative Biogene, EirGenix, EtinPro, Eubiologics, Eurogentec, Eurofins, FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies, KBI Biopharma, Lonza, Menarini Biotech, Mycenax Biotech, Northway Biotech, Stelis Biopharma, WACKER, and WuXi Biologics.

Microbial Fermentation CMO Market Report Coverage

The market report presents an in-depth microbial fermentation CMO market analysis, highlighting the capabilities of various microbial fermentation service providers in this global market, across different segments. Amongst other elements, the market report includes:

  • A preface providing an introduction to the full report, Microbial Fermentation CMO Market (2nd edition), 2018-2023 (Historical Trends) and 2024-2035 (Forecasted Estimates).
Microbial Fermentation CMO Market List Microbial Fermentation CMO Market Year of Establishment Microbial Fermentation CMO Market Stakeholders
  • An outline of the systematic research methodology adopted to conduct the study on microbial fermentation contract manufacturing, providing insights on the various assumptions, methodologies, and quality control measures employed to ensure accuracy and reliability of our findings.
  • An overview of economic factors that impact the overall service providers in the microbial fermentation market, including historical trends, currency fluctuation, foreign exchange impact, recession, and inflation measurement.
  • An executive summary of the insights captured during our research. It offers a high-level view on the current state of services offered by service providers for microbial fermentation and its likely evolution in the mid-long term.
  • A general overview of microbial fermentation contract manufacturing, highlighting details on various microbial expression systems, comparison of mammalian expression systems with microbial expression systems and stages of microbial manufacturing process. Further, it provides information on need for outsourcing in the microbial manufacturing domain, commonly outsourced operations in microbial contract manufacturing, and advantages and disadvantages associated with outsourcing manufacturing services. It also highlights key factors to be considered while selecting a CMO partner. 
  • A detailed overview of the current market landscape of the microbial fermentation contract manufacturers, along with information on their year of establishment, company size (in terms of employee count), location of headquarters (North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific and Rest of the World), location of microbial fermentation facilities (North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific and Rest of the World), types of microbial fermentation services offered (microbial strain development, microbial cell banking, analytical validation, process development, scale-up, downstream processing, fill / finish, and regulatory support), type of microbial expression system (bacterial expression systems, fungal expression systems and other expression systems), GMP compliance (GMP and non-GMP), scale of operation (preclinical, clinical and commercial), type of biologic manufactured (antibodies, antibody fragments, biosimilars, enzymes, human microbiome therapeutics, oligonucleotides (DNA/ RNA), plasmid DNA/ viral vectors, proteins / peptides, vaccines, and others), and type of fermenter (single-use fermenter, stainless steel fermenters and others).
  • An insightful company competitiveness analysis of service providers in the microbial fermentation industry, based on several relevant parameters, such as developer strength (in terms of number of years of experience of a company and company size) and product portfolio strength (in terms of number of services offered, number of analytical techniques used, and therapeutic areas assessed).
  • Elaborate profiles of key service providers (shortlisted on the basis of their service portfolio strength) engaged in the microbial fermentation market. Each profile features a brief overview of the microbial fermentation service provider, along with information on location of headquarters, year of establishment, number of employees, leadership team, service portfolio, financial information (if available), recent developments, and an informed future outlook.
  • A detailed analysis of the partnerships established between various microbial fermentation companies engaged in this market, since 2020, covering acquisitions, joint ventures, licensing agreements, manufacturing agreements, mergers, process development agreements, process development and manufacturing agreements, product development agreements, product development and manufacturing agreements, service alliance, technology integration agreements, and technology utilization agreements.
Microbial Fermentation CMO Market Partnerships Microbial Fermentation CMO Market Recent Expansions Microbial Fermentation CMO Market Type of Biologic
  • A detailed analysis on the various expansion initiatives undertaken by contract biomanufacturers using microbial expression systems, in order to augment their capabilities, since 2020. It includes information on expansions carried out for increasing existing capabilities, as well as those intended for setting-up of new facilities by manufacturers engaged in this domain. 
  • A detailed analysis of microbial based biopharmaceuticals manufacturing related initiatives of the big pharma players (shortlisted from the top companies of 2023 by revenues), featuring trends across various parameters, such as number of initiatives, year of initiative and type of initiatives.
  • A proprietary 2×2 representation that was developed to assess the current market scenario (in terms of existing competition and growth opportunities) across emerging and established market segments.
  • A qualitative analysis that highlights the various factors that need to be taken into consideration by biopharmaceutical therapeutics / drug developers while deciding whether to manufacture their respective products in-house or engage the services of CMOs.
  • A case study comprising microbial fermentation technology platforms that are available in the market. In addition, it features a list of emerging microbial fermentation technologies.
  • A case study comparing the key characteristics of large and small molecule drugs, along with information on the steps involved in their respective manufacturing processes.
  • A detailed estimate of the current market size and the future market growth potential of the microbial fermentation services market over the next decade. Based on multiple parameters, such as likely adoption trends and through reliable secondary and primary validations, we have provided an informed estimate on the market evolution during the forecast period 2024-2035. Further, in order to account for future uncertainties and to add robustness to our model, we have provided three market forecast scenarios, namely conservative, base, and optimistic scenarios, representing different tracks of the market growth.
  • Detailed projections of the current and future opportunity for service providers in the microbial fermentation CMO market across various type of expression systems, including bacterial expression systems, yeast expression systems and other expression systems.
  • Detailed projections of the current and future opportunity for service providers in the market across various types of biologics manufactured, such as recombinant proteins, enzymes, plasmid DNA, antibodies and others.
  • Detailed projections of the current and future opportunity for service providers in the microbial fermentation CMO market across company size, including small, mid-sized, large and very large players.
  • Detailed projections of the current and future opportunity for service providers in the market across various types of end-users, such as pharma/ biotech companies and academic/ research institutes.
  • Detailed projections of the current and future opportunity for service providers in the microbial fermentation CMO market across different key geographical regions, such as North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific and rest of the world.
Microbial Fermentation CMO Market Geography Microbial Fermentation CMO Market Movement Analysis Microbial Fermentation CMO Market Penetration Growth

Recent Developments In The Microbial Fermentation CMO Market

Several recent developments have taken place in the field of microbial fermentation contract manufacturing, some of which have been outlined below. These developments, even if they took place post the release of our market report, substantiate the overall market trends that we have outlined in our analysis.

  • In January 2024, Scorpius Biomanufacturing, a subsidiary of NightHawk Biosciences had secured a project supporting a preclinical program for a US based biotechnology company, with an initial value exceeding USD 1 million and the potential to grow significantly over the next two years. The project focuses on Scorpius analytical and process development labs, emphasizing expertise in microbial fermentation.
  • In June 2023, Culture Biosciences and Cytiva entered into a partnership agreement to enhance innovation in upstream bioprocessing, offering advanced scale-up capabilities to customers. The partnership focused on integration of Culture Biosciences' 250 mL bioreactor into Cytiva's Bioreactor Scaler tool, facilitating seamless scaling between development and manufacturing. 

Author(s): Ronit Sharma and Divya Nagla 

Frequently Asked Questions

Question 1: What is microbial fermentation in pharmaceutical industry?

Answer: Microbial fermentation in the pharmaceutical industry is a fundamental process used to cultivate microorganisms for the production of various pharmaceutical products, including antibiotics, therapeutic proteins, enzymes, and insulin.

Question 2: What is the global microbial fermentation CMO market size?

Answer: The market opportunity for microbial fermentation service providers is estimated to be worth $3.6 billion in 2024.

Question 3: What is the growth rate (CAGR) of the microbial fermentation CMO market?

Answer: The microbial fermentation contract manufacturing market is expected to grow at compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8.7% during the forecast period 2024-2035.

Question 4: How many CMOs currently offer microbial fermentation services?

Answer: Presently, more than 120 companies offer microbial fermentation services globally; of these, close to 40% of the companies are based in Europe.

Question 5: Which region has the highest microbial fermentation services market share?

Answer: Currently, North America and Europe collectively capture over 70% of the market share.

Question 6: Who are the leading microbial fermentation service providers?

Answer: 53Biologics, AbbVie Contract Manufacturing, AGC Biologics, Ajinomoto Biopharma Services, Aldevron, Aumgene Biosciences, BioCina, BioVectra, Creative Biogene, EirGenix, EtinPro, Eubiologics, Eurogentec, Eurofins, FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies, KBI Biopharma, Lonza, Menarini Biotech, Mycenax Biotech, Northway Biotech, Stelis Biopharma, WACKER, and WuXi Biologics.

Question 7: What are the recent microbial fermentation contract manufacturing market trends?

Answer: The service providers have entered into several partnerships in order to cater to the demand of its global clientele and become one stop shops for microbial biologics development.

Question 8: What are the products of microbial fermentation?

Answer: Several pharmaceutical products including antibodies, proteins, enzymes, vaccines can be produced using microbial fermentation.

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