SOURCE: Senomyx, Inc.

January 14, 2008 08:00 ET

Senomyx Announces Issuance of Five New U.S. Patents Related to the Human Sweet and Umami Taste Receptors

Senomyx Further Expands Its Patent Protection for the Discovery of Novel Sweet and Savory Flavor Ingredients

SAN DIEGO, CA--(Marketwire - January 14, 2008) - Senomyx, Inc. (NASDAQ: SNMX), a leading company using proprietary taste receptor technologies to discover and develop novel flavor ingredients for the food, beverage, and ingredient supply industries, announced today the issuance by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office of five new patents relating to the human umami and sweet taste receptors. These patents are U.S. Patent No. 7,309,577, issued on December 18, 2007, entitled, "Binding assays that use the T1R1/T1R3 (umami) taste receptor to identify compounds that elicit or modulate umami taste"; U.S. Patent No. 7,301,009, issued on November 27, 2007, entitled, "Isolated umami (T1R1/T1R3) taste receptors that respond to umami taste stimuli"; U.S. Patent No. 7,297,543, issued on November 20, 2007, entitled, "Cell lines that stably or transiently express a functional sweet (T1R2/T1R3) taste receptor"; U.S. Patent No. 7,297,772, also issued on November 20, 2007, entitled, "Isolated sweet (T1R2/T1R3) taste receptors that respond to sweet taste stimuli"; and U.S. Patent No. 7,294,474, issued on November 13, 2007, entitled, "Functional assays for identifying compounds that modulate T1R2/T1R3 (sweet) taste."

"The new patents add to Senomyx's already extensive taste receptor patent franchise and expand upon our earlier patents relating to the human sweet and umami (savory) taste receptors," said Mark Zoller, Ph.D., Senomyx's Chief Scientific Officer and Executive Vice President of Discovery and Development.

"Each individual has only one type of sweet taste receptor and one type of umami receptor," Zoller explained. "Senomyx's patents include composition claims covering these receptors, as well as claims directed to T1R1, T1R2 and T1R3 nucleic acid sequences, which encode the receptors. The new patents strengthen our proprietary position regarding the use of these receptors in screening assays designed to identify new flavor ingredients that induce or modulate sweet and savory tastes."

Senomyx is now the owner or exclusive licensee of 113 issued patents and 371 pending patent applications in the U.S., Europe, and elsewhere. "The technologies covered in Company's patent portfolio enable us to discover new flavor ingredients using methodologies that are more efficient than traditional flavor discovery approaches," Zoller noted. "For example, Senomyx used the patented umami receptor assay to identify novel savory ingredients that have been incorporated into food products that are now being marketed by Nestlé. We used a similar assay based on the sweet receptor to discover S2383, a promising enhancer of the artificial sweetener sucralose, and S5742, an enhancer of the natural sweetener sucrose, which is table sugar."

Development activities intended to support regulatory filings are underway for S2383, which allows for the reduction of sucralose by up to 75% in simple product prototypes while maintaining the desired sweet taste. S5742, which enabled a sucrose reduction of approximately 40% while exhibiting excellent taste and physical characteristics, is being optimized in an effort to increase its potency.

"The discovery of S2383 and S5742 and the successful discovery, development, and commercialization of our savory flavor enhancers validate Senomyx's patented technologies," stated Kent Snyder, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Company. "All of the inventions in the new patents were made in-house by Senomyx's scientists, and we are proud of their accomplishments.

"The novel flavor ingredients created by Senomyx are intended to provide a competitive advantage for our partners," Snyder noted. "Senomyx now has product discovery and development collaborations with seven of the world's foremost food, beverage, and ingredient supply companies: Ajinomoto, Cadbury Schweppes, Campbell Soup Company, The Coca-Cola Company, Firmenich, Nestlé, and Solae."

About Senomyx, Inc. (www.senomyx.com)

Senomyx is a leading company using proprietary taste receptor technologies to discover and develop novel flavor ingredients in the savory, sweet, salt and bitter areas. Senomyx has entered into product discovery and development collaborations with seven of the world's leading food, beverage, and ingredient supply companies: Ajinomoto Co., Inc., Cadbury Schweppes, Campbell Soup Company, The Coca-Cola Company, Firmenich SA, Nestlé SA, and Solae, LLC. Nestlé is currently marketing products that contain one of Senomyx's flavor ingredients. For more information, please visit www.senomyx.com.

Forward-Looking Statement

Statements contained in this press release regarding matters that are not historical facts are "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Because such statements are subject to risks and uncertainties, actual results may differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Such statements include, but are not limited to, statements regarding Senomyx's ability to discover novel compounds and create new flavor ingredients that are beneficial to our collaborators. Risks that contribute to the uncertain nature of the forward-looking statements include: Senomyx is dependent on its product discovery and development collaborators for all of Senomyx's revenue; Senomyx is dependent on its current and any future product discovery and development collaborators to develop and commercialize its flavor ingredients; Senomyx may be unable to protect our intellectual property and proprietary technology and to maintain and enforce our patents and licensing arrangements with various third party licensors; Senomyx may be unable to define the scope and validity of patent protection for our products and technologies; Senomyx may be unable to develop additional flavor ingredients useful for formulation into products Senomyx or its collaborators may be unable to obtain and maintain the regulatory approval required for flavor ingredients to be incorporated into products that are sold; even if Senomyx or its collaborators receive a regulatory approval and incorporate Senomyx flavor ingredients into products, those products may never be commercially successful; and Senomyx's ability to compete in the flavor ingredients market may decline if Senomyx does not adequately protect its proprietary technologies. These and other risks and uncertainties are described more fully in Senomyx's most recently filed SEC documents, including its Annual Report on Form 10-K and Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q, under the headings "Risks Related to Our Business" and "Risks Related to Our Industry." All forward-looking statements contained in this press release speak only as of the date on which they were made. Senomyx undertakes no obligation to update such statements to reflect events that occur or circumstances that exist after the date on which they were made.

Contact Information

  • Contact:
    Gwen Rosenberg
    Senomyx, Inc.
    Vice President, Investor Relations & Corporate Communications
    (858) 646-8369
    Email Contact