Firmenich expands sweetener pact with Semonyx
by Jeff Gelski
SAN DIEGO — Firmenich S.A. has exercised its option to expand a collaboration related to the sweet-taste technology of San Diego-based Senomyx. The collaboration now includes the discovery, development and worldwide commercialization of natural flavor ingredients intended to enhance the taste of sucrose, fructose and rebaudioside, a stevia extract. The expansion will complement Senomyx’s collaboration with PepsiCo, Inc., Purchase, N.Y., that focuses on natural and artificial enhancers of sucrose and fructose in non-alcoholic beverages.
Under the agreement with Firmenich, Senomyx uses its proprietary technologies to discover and develop flavors that may be used by Firmenich on an exclusive basis worldwide as artificial sweet enhancers in all food product categories and on a co-exclusive basis in powdered beverages. In consideration of the expansion, Firmenich will pay to Senomyx additional research funding as well as milestones, minimum annual royalties and royalties on sales of natural sweet enhancers developed under the collaboration. Firmenich is committed to fund research under the agreement through July 2011 and has annual options that could extend the funding through July 2014.
“Senomyx’s Sweet Taste Program has achieved significant accomplishments, including the discovery and development of our sucralose enhancer and our first sucrose enhancer, both of which have received regulatory approval and are now in commercialization stage,” said Kent Snyder, chief executive officer of Senomyx. “We believe Firmenich’s decision to expand the collaboration to include natural sweeteners is a reflection of the success of our novel technologies, the positive working relationship between the two companies, and the large market opportunity for natural flavor ingredients.”