Learn More About Biowest

Founded in 1987, Biowest is the leader in the collection of animal serum, providing the widest range of serum and cell culture media available on the market. Known for our dedication to quality, we carefully supervise the entire manufacturing process, from collection to shipment.

Our products are employed in the production of biopharmaceuticals and vaccines. The serum we produce are also used in the academic, governmental, and industrial research sectors in fields spanning the areas of cell biology, genomics, proteomics, virology, immunology, innovative drug research, and toxicology.

bottle of fetal bovine serum

The History of Fetal Bovine Serum

FBS is critically important for research, diagnostics, vaccines, and biopharmaceuticals. Its use has resulted in significant contributions to the improvement of human and animal health. The use of FBS in cell culture started in the USA in the 1960s, based on serum collections in North America.

Shop Now

In Europe, FBS was mainly imported from New Zealand and Australia until the 1980s. Supply was tight, and prices were high. European Union (EU) import rules differed from country to country which made smuggling and misrepresentation of origin fairly simple and profitable for those willing to ignore the rules. "Serum brokers" were specialists in imports into the EU, as described in an article published by "Der Spiegel" in 1993.

Collection in Latin America started in 1979 in Mexico. FBS from Mexico and Central America was allowed into the USA. FBS from South America was only allowed into Europe where the serum industry, instead of purchasing directly from producers as in Mexico and North America, collaborated with serum brokers as described in article. This network of brokers became the main route for FBS from South America into European FBS companies. Biowest was one of the few companies buying FBS directly from serum producers in South America. While Biowest had originally been formed in cooperation with German brokers to produce FBS in France, that cooperation ended, and Biowest continued its serum collection activity directly with French abattoirs.