GVR Report cover Cell-free Protein Expression Market Size, Share & Trends Report

Cell-free Protein Expression Market Size, Share & Trends Analysis Report By Product (Expression Systems, Reagents), By Application (Enzyme Engineering, Protein Labeling), By Method, By End-use, By Region And Segment Forecasts, 2022 - 2030

  • Report ID: GVR-4-68039-972-9
  • Number of Pages: 160
  • Format: Electronic (PDF)
  • Historical Range: 2018 - 2020
  • Industry: Healthcare

Report Overview

The global cell-free protein expression market size was valued at USD 229.7 million in 2021 and is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8.48 % from 2022 to 2030. Cell-free protein expression i.e. cell-free protein synthesis is a technique that allows scientists to rapidly manufacture and express small quantities of functional proteins. Compared to in-vivo techniques based on tissue culture or bacterial cells, CFPE is significantly faster as it does not require extensive protein purification, cell culture, or gene transfection. Increasing research and development in genomics and proteomics, high prevalence of infectious diseases and cancer, and structural modification and shorter-expression time required in CFPE are major factors driving the growth of the market.

U.S. Cell-free protein expression market size, by application, 2020 - 2030 (USD Million)

As the world continues to struggle with the current effects of COVID-19, scientists are using synthetic biology, and precise, cell-free systems to advance novel vaccines, diagnostic tools, and treatments. For instance, biologists at the University of Toronto extracted enzymes required for translation and transcription from Escherichia coli to develop a cell-free expression system that identifies the parts of the SARS-CoV-2 genome and activates a molecular shift to generate a reporter protein. This technique also eliminated the requirement to purify the RNA from the sample and replaced RT-PCR for additional rapid diagnostic testing. Such novel developments increased the adoption of CFPS in the diagnosis of COVID-19 and contributed to the CFPS market growth.

Cell-free protein expression (CFPE) is one of the widely used techniques in molecular biology. Proteins can be produced in a few hours using CFPE whereas, protein production using cells usually takes about a few days to weeks. So, in comparison with the traditional approaches, CPSE-based protein production can be time-saving from the initial synthesis to downstream applications. For instance, Promega’s, transcription and translation systems offer a time-saving substitute for eukaryotic in vitro transcription by coupling the procedure in a single tube format. Similarly, The human cell-free protein expression system aids in easy and simple in vitro translation and transcription. The single tube reaction of protein expression can be completed in one hour. This expression system allows high-yield expression and purification of functional protein.

Moreover, cell-free expression kits are helping in the faster expression of desired proteins in a short duration. For instance, the AccuRapid CFPE kit helps in the expression of a required protein in a reaction tube within 3 hours using the template DNA. Therefore, a reduction in the expression time is increasing the adoption of CFPE in the production of proteins by various industries can drive the CFPE market in the future.

Cell-free protein expression systems are evolving into a key platform for synthetic biology applications. Many synthetic biology tools are depended on cell-based systems, however, their constraints have led to the progress of cell-free protein expression and their applications in synthetic biology.

Furthermore, cell-free methods are being developed for biomanufacturing and prototyping. In prototyping applications, cell-free systems are utilized to optimize and test biosynthetic pathways before administration in the live cells and scale-up. For instance, the enzymatic pathways are constructed by a modular assembly of lysates containing enzymes produced by CFPS rather than living cells which reduces the time taken to build the pathways from months to a few days. This approach coupled with machine learning and automation can quicken the tests for combination metabolic pathways. Some of the commercially available strains and plasmids used for cell-free prototyping pathways include NEB Turbo and BL21 manufactured by New England Biolabs.

Product Insights

The expression systems segment held the highest share of the market in 2021. E. coli lysates is one of the most preferred lysates commercially due to their cost-effectiveness and higher protein yield. Moreover, E. coli-based systems used in recombinant technology are used for a wide range of biological therapeutics, involving insulin.

Wheat Germ Cell-free Protein Expression System is expected to expand at the fastest CAGR. The wheat germ system offers the maximum translation efficiency among the eukaryotic CFPE approaches and has an extreme success rate for the expression of soluble proteins of exceptional quality. In addition, this system is a choice of preference for numerous applications in protein research comprising options for protein labeling and the expression of proteins such as multiple protein complexes and membrane proteins.

Application Insights

The enzyme engineering segment dominated the market with a share of 34.97% in 2021. With the continuous growth of enzyme engineering, it has played an important role in biomanufacturing synthetic biology, and medicine. Lately, cell-free synthetic biology approaches for enzyme engineering have been used as an alternative strategy. This method has no constraint on the cell membrane and does not need to maintain cell viability, and each of the biosynthetic pathways is highly flexible.

Moreover, the high throughput production system is expected to register the fastest CAGR. The usage of CFPS for high-throughput enzyme screening has been proven to be a competent technique to discover improved enzyme variants and novel biocatalysts. The incorporation of cutting-edge high-throughput technologies allows the application of a Cell-free protein expression system for speedy prototyping to fast-track the screening procedure of enzymes with enhanced characteristics.

Method Insights

The transcription & translation systems segment captured the highest revenue share of the market in 2021. Coupled translation and transcription systems provide investigators with time-saving options for eukaryotic in vitro translation and transcription, by connecting these procedures in single tube format. Transcription and translation systems are used for numerous applications in low-to-high throughput functional proteome and genome analyses.

End-use Insights

The pharmaceutical & biotechnological companies segment captured the highest revenue share of the market in 2021. The expansion of the current manufacturing capacities for biopharmaceuticals drives the demand for cell-free protein expression products. For instance, in February 2022 Takara Bio Inc. announced the opening of an expansion of its manufacturing facility, the Center for Gene and Cell Processing in Shiga, Japan. The GMP facility development will address the increasing demand for contract development and manufacturing companies It will also meet the necessity for a broader variety of raw materials and manufacturing modalities. Manufactured products will contain regenerative medicines, RNA and DNA vaccines, cancer immunotherapy drugs, and gene therapy

Global Cell-free protein expression market share, by end-use, 2021 (%)

Other end-user segment is expected to expand at the fastest CAGR in the review period. Growing investment in pharmaceutical R&D, and a rising number of Antibody-Drug Conjugates clinical trials are some of the factors driving the market growth. For instance, globally more than 50 antibody-drug conjugates are in clinical trials and 250 are under development, antibody-drug conjugates' product quality features are often extra complex than those for the therapeutic proteins alone. Cell-free synthesis provides the ability to include nonstandard amino acids, which allows rapid prototyping of proteins, the number of conjugation sites and control of the location, and consequent incorporation and scaling of potent toxins as loads.

Regional Insights

North America dominated the regional market with a share of 36.29% in 2021. This major share can be attributed to the growth in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries, technologically advanced products, and the rising incidence of diseases such as cancer coupled with investments and funding in drug discovery research. For instance, In April 2021 Promega announced the opening of the newly constructed R&D facility (Kornberg Center) on its Fitchburg, WI campus. The building will support essential technology and product development in genetic identity, cellular and molecular biology, life science research, scientific applications, clinical diagnostic, and training.

Cell-free Protein Expression Market Trends by Region

The Asia Pacific is estimated to be the fastest-growing region owing to the strategic activities of key market players. For instance, In July 2021, CELLFREE SCIENCES CO., LTD, a Japanese company, received funding from Ehime Prefecture under the Ehime Prefecture New Growth Manufacturing Company Comprehensive Support Program. The company will use its own technologies comprising a protein bead array platform to discover new therapeutic concepts and drug targets.

Key Companies and Market Share Insights

Key players in this market are adopting various organic and inorganic strategies such as partnerships, mergers and acquisitions, geographical expansion, and strategic collaborations to expand their market presence. For instance, In September 2021, Sutro Biopharma extended the cytokine derivative research program in partnership with Merck. Under the terms of this agreement, Merck and Sutro are performing preclinical R&D of cytokine derivatives using Sutro's exclusive site-specific conjugation and cell-free protein synthesis platforms, Xpress CF+ and XpressCF.

Some of the key players in the global cell-free protein expression market include:

  • Thermo Fisher Scientific, Inc.

  • Takara Bio Company

  • Merck KGaA

  • New England Biolabs

  • Promega Corporation

  • Jena Bioscience GmbH

  • GeneCopoeia, Inc.

  • Biotechrabbit GmbH

  • Cube Biotech GmbH

  • CellFree Sciences Co., Ltd.

Cell-free Protein Expression Market Report Scope

Report Attribute


Market size value in 2022

USD 247.7 million

Revenue forecast in 2030

USD 475.1 million

Growth rate

CAGR of 8.48% from 2022 to 2030

Base year for estimation


Historical data

2018 - 2020

Forecast period

2021 - 2030

Quantitative units

Revenue in USD million and CAGR from 2022 to 2030

Report coverage

Revenue forecast, company ranking, competitive landscape, growth factors, and trends

Segments covered

Product, application, method, end-use, region

Regional scope

North America; Europe; Asia Pacific; Latin America; MEA

Country scope

U.S.; Canada; Germany; U.K.; France, Italy, Spain, China; Japan; India, South Korea; Australia; Brazil; Mexico, Argentina, South Africa; Saudi Arabia; UAE

Key companies profiled

Thermo Fisher Scientific, Inc., Takara Bio Company, New England Biolabs, Promega Corporation, Jena Bioscience GmbH, GeneCopoeia, Inc., Biotechrabbit GmbH, Cube Biotech GmbH, CellFree Sciences Co., Ltd. Merck KGaA

Customization scope

Free report customization (equivalent up to 8 analyst’s working days) with purchase. Addition or alteration to country, regional and segment scope.

Pricing and purchase options

Avail customized purchase options to meet your exact research needs. Explore purchase options


Global Cell-free Protein Expression Market Segmentation

This report forecasts revenue growth and provides an analysis of the latest trends in each of the sub-segments from 2018 to 2030. For this study, Grand View Research has segmented the cell-free protein expression based on product, application, method, end-use, and region.

Global Cell-free Protein Expression Market Segmentation

  • Product Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2018 - 2030)

    • Expression Systems

      • E. coli Cell-free Protein Expression System         

      • Wheat Germ Cell-free Protein Expression System

      • Rabbit Reticulocytes Cell-free Protein Expression System      

      • Insect Cells Cell-free Protein Expression System          

      • Human Cell-free Protein Expression System

      • Others

    • Reagents

  • Application Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2018 - 2030)

    • Enzyme Engineering

    • High Throughput Production

    • Protein Labeling

    • Protein-Protein Interaction

    • Protein Purification

  • Method Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2018 - 2030)

    • Transcription & Translation systems      

    • Translation systems

  • End-User Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2018 - 2030)

    • Pharmaceutical and Biotechnology Companies

    • Academic and Research Institutes

    • Others

  • Regional Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2018 - 2030)

    • North America

      • U.S.

      • Canada

    • Europe

      • U.K.

      • Germany

      • France

      • Italy

      • Spain

    • Asia Pacific

      • China

      • Japan

      • India

      • South Korea

      • Australia

    • Latin America

      • Brazil

      • Mexico

      • Argentina

    • Middle East and Africa

      • South Africa

      • Saudi Arabia

      • UAE

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