Senomyx and Nestle collaborate beyond savory flavors

By Clarisse Douaud

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Patent Flavor Taste

Senomyx has announced a two-year extension to its collaborative
research and license agreement with food and beverage giant Nestle,
focusing on developing new flavor ingredients for use in
dehydrated, culinary and frozen foods.

The arrangement with Senoymx, which has been in effect for several years, allows Nestle to acquire new flavor technologies and ingredients, and in turn guarantees Senomyx a clientele and funding for future research. A spokesperson told that until now the arrangement has revolved around savory ingredients. While the resulting ingredients are now being commercialized, the extension permits the two companies to take their partnership into new flavor areas. The spokesperson declined give details about what these areas are at the present time. When technologies from the current agreement are commercialized, Canadian Senomyx receives royalties from sales of products containing flavor ingredients developed under the collaboration. Senomyx also has research and development agreements set up with other large food and ingredient companies including Ajinomoto, Cadbury Schweppes, Campbell Soup, Coca-Cola and Solae. "We believe that our collaborations with these world-leading companies provide further validation of Senomyx's technology and the commercial potential of our programs,"​ said Senomyx president and CEO Kent Snyder. Senomyx has developed proprietary taste receptor technologies for flavor ingredients in savory, sweet, salt, bitter, and cooling areas. In January, the company entered into a three-year partnership with Firmenich to develop novel flavor ingredients that have a cooling taste effect. Under that agreement, Senomyx is set to use its proprietary screening technologies to develop novel compounds to be used by the Swiss fragrance and flavor firm on an exclusive basis worldwide. In a similar manner to the Nestle deal, Firmenich is funding research and, upon commercialization, Senomyx will be entitled to royalties. Also in January, Senomyx announced the addition of five new patents to its intellectual property portfolio. These covered the use of bitter and savory taste receptors. Senomyx indicated that these patented technologies would encourage the discovery of new ingredients using methods more efficient than traditional flavor discovery approaches. ​Previously, the company had used a patented umami receptor assay to identify novel savory ingredients that were incorporated into food products, some of which were marketed by Nestle. The five patents include composition claims covering savory and sweet receptors, as well as claims directed to T1R1, T1R2 and T1R3 nucleic acid sequences, which encode the receptors. Competition in the $10.4bn global flavor and fragrance sector is rapidly increasing. Senomyx now has 113 patents and 371 pending in the US, Europe, and around the world.

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