EWING, N.J. — International Flavors & Fragrances Inc. will have exclusive rights for five years to develop, manufacture and commercialize RP44, an all-natural, non-caloric sweetness enhancer, in food and beverage products under an agreement between IFF and Redpoint Bio Corp., which identified the sweetness enhancer derived from the stevia plant. RP44 amplifies the existing sugary sweetness in a food or beverage so that less sweetener is required.

Redpoint Bio Corp., Ewing, will receive an upfront payment of $500,000 and also will receive royalties based on the amount of RP44 that New York-based IFF buys for use in products. IFF will be responsible for the regulatory process and for costs associated with prosecuting and maintaining Redpoint Bio’s intellectual property covering the sweetness enhancer.

“Reducing the amount of sugar in food and beverage products is a high priority for consumers, our customers and therefore, for IFF,” said Mark Dewis, vice-president of R.&D. – Flavors for IFF. “While we estimate that it will take approximately one year for product commercialization in the U.S. and additional time globally, we believe that Redpoint’s all-natural sweetness enhancer adds a valuable tool to our arsenal of sugar-reduction solutions.”

Ray Salemme, chief executive officer of Redpoint Bio, said, “IFF represents an ideal partner for us, providing outstanding regulatory and product development capabilities. With IFF’s support, we believe we can maximize the value of RP44 as an all-natural sweetness enhancer used to make better tasting and healthier foods and beverages. We are confident in their ability to have it introduced into the market place as quickly, broadly and efficiently as possible.”