Rather than relying solely on licensing deals for commercialization, San-Diego-based flavor innovator Senomyx will in future sell some of its flavor ingredients directly to flavor companies for re-sale to food and beverage companies, says the company.
"Senomyx intends to leverage our proprietary taste discovery technologies to become a leading commercial provider of novel flavor ingredients to the flavor industry," said CEO Kent Snyder.
"Senomyx will focus on sales of our pure, also commonly referred to as 'neat', ingredients to flavor companies, who can then add value to the offerings by incorporating them into proprietary flavor systems for their customers.
Senomyx, which uses proprietary taste receptor-based technologies to develop novel flavor ingredients, has made progress towards implementing the new direct sales strategy by reacquiring rights to certain ingredients to build its product portfolio, he said.
Its first product will be the S9632 sucrose modifier for use in non-alcoholic and powdered beverages, but it may also directly commercialize its S6821 bitter blocker and several of its savory flavor ingredients, he added.
Senomyx is still loss-making, but has $42m in cash and no debts
While Senomyx is still loss-making, it has a lot of cash and no debt, and ended 2012 with $41.8m in cash and highly liquid investments, said Snyder.
Total revenues in 2012 dipped slightly in 2012 to $31.3m compared to $31.6m in 2011, while the net loss for 2012 was $0.23 per share, compared to $0.22 per share for 2011
For the full year 2013, Senomyx expects to generate revenues of $31-34m and make a net loss of $8-10m.
The sweeteners platform
Building on work by scientists who have successfully cloned human taste receptors for sweet, bitter and umami tastes, Senomyx uses high-throughput biological screening techniques to evaluate millions of molecules to identify which substances bind to specific taste receptors.
So far it has programs for sweet, savory, cooling and bitter-blocking, and has struck deals with big names in the industry from PepsiCo to Firmenich.
Speaking to FoodNavigator-USA last year, investor relations and corporate communications VP Gwen Rosenberg said Senomyx’s sweeteners platform includes several products all at different stages of commercialization.
“S9632 can be used to restore the desired taste profile for products in foods and beverages wherein sucrose has been reduced such as powdered and liquid concentrate forms of fruit-flavored soft drinks, ready-to-drink and powdered forms of coffee and tea, ready-to-drink and powdered forms of dairy beverage products, and alcoholic beverages.
“S6973 can be used to restore the desired taste profile for reduced sucrose products including ready-to-drink and powdered forms of tea, coffee and milk products and is currently being commercialized by Firmenich.
“S617 is expected to be used to restore the desired taste profile for products in foods and beverages wherein either HFCS or sucrose has been reduced. S617, which is currently in development, appears to be effective in the same product categories as S9632, plus carbonated soft drinks.”
Separately, Senomyx has completed the first phase of safety testing for S5031, a cooling agent selected for development by Firmenich, said Rosenberg.
“S5031 has a 10-times greater potency in taste tests and other advantageous properties, such as longer cooling duration and lack of aroma, compared to commonly used agents.”