During the three-year collaborative period, Senomyx will use its proprietary screening technologies to discover and develop novel compounds that may be used by Firmenich on an exclusive basis worldwide as ingredients that impart a cool taste in flavor systems. Firmenich has agreed to pay Senomyx research fees and specified payments upon the achievement of milestones. Upon commercialization, Senomyx will be entitled to royalties.
"We are extremely pleased to establish this collaboration with Firmenich, a global leader in providing food ingredients and flavor systems to major consumer companies for use in their brands," said Kent Snyder, president and chief executive officer of Senomyx.
"After careful consideration, we determined that working with Firmenich could provide us with the best opportunity to maximize the long term revenue potential of our Cool Flavor Program. We believe that Firmenich offers key strengths in the areas of product development, proprietary formulation systems, and manufacturing that may allow us to accelerate commercialization of the novel cool flavors we may discover. In addition, we believe their capabilities and existing strong customer relationships may facilitate market acceptance for the use of these new flavors ingredients in confectioneries, foods and beverages, as well as oral care and OTC healthcare products. It is noteworthy that Firmenich is well-established in both food and non-food consumer markets."
Senomyx's Cool Flavor Program, which has not been discussed previously, is an outgrowth of the company's efforts in numerous areas of taste research. Senomyx has developed a proprietary high-throughput screening assay using the receptor associated with cool and menthol taste sensations. The assay can be used to screen the company's extensive compound libraries for samples that impart a cool taste effect. The assay has been validated through the identification of several compounds that provided a cool taste and appeared significantly more potent than menthol, WS-3, and other commonly used cooling agents in a threshold taste test for cooling. Senomyx intends to use the assay to discover novel cooling flavors that meet the needs of Firmenich's customers.
"We are looking forward to gaining access to novel cooling flavors discovered by Senomyx," commented Patrick Firmenich, chief executive officer of Firmenich. "Many currently available cooling agents have deficiencies that restrict their utility, including weak cooling characteristics, bitter off-tastes, limited solubility, and non-proprietary status. Senomyx's cutting-edge technologies provide a unique methodology for seeking new cooling flavor ingredients that do not have these drawbacks. Furthermore, the combined use of our proprietary delivery systems should further enhance the benefits of the new cooling compounds in certain applications. Our exclusive partnership is designed to allow Firmenich to have a competitive advantage in providing innovative cooling flavor systems to customers, and may expand our product offerings and market coverage."
From the January 7, 2008, Prepared Foods e-Flash