Senomyx, Inc. (NASDAQ: SNMX), a leading company focused on using proprietary technologies to discover and develop novel flavor ingredients for the food, beverage, and ingredient supply industries, announced that the Company has been granted U.S. Patent No. 7,939,671, which includes composition-of-matter claims for a family of Senomyx’s bitter blockers and their use in all forms of foods and beverages, as well as in medicaments and other products. The patent was issued on May 10, 2011 and will be in force until January 17, 2029.
“The broad scope of our new patent underscores the wide-ranging market opportunity for Senomyx’s bitter blockers,” said Kent Snyder, Chief Executive Officer of the Company. “These novel flavor ingredients can meet manufacturers’ needs by enabling a significant reduction in bitterness without altering other product properties. Senomyx’s bitter blockers could also allow manufacturers to forgo the use of masking agents or sweeteners to counter unwanted bitter tastes, which may provide both cost-of-goods and nutritional benefits.
“A notable aspect of the new patent is the large variety of product applications included in the claims,” Snyder stated. In addition to foods, beverages and pharmaceuticals, the patent covers use of Senomyx’s bitter blockers to alleviate or eliminate bitter taste in food supplements, nutraceuticals, functional foods, over-the-counter medications, oral care and other products. The patent also protects use of the bitter blockers in a variety of beverage formats such as ready-to-drink, concentrated and instant formulations.
The newly issued patent includes specific claims directed to Senomyx’s S6821 bitter blocker, as well as other claims covering a large number of analogs, including S7958. Both S6821 and S7958, which have similar functionality with alternative desirable physical properties, received GRAS (Generally Recognized As Safe) regulatory designations in October 2010. The GRAS status allows the bitter blockers to be incorporated into a variety of product categories in the U.S. and multiple additional countries.
“Senomyx’s S6821 bitter blocker is currently being evaluated by our collaborators for possible future commercialization, and it has generated interest from potential new partners. We are very pleased that the new patent provides intellectual property protection and exclusivity in the marketplace for S6821, S7958, and numerous other bitter blockers for an extended period of time,” Snyder stated.
“The new patent is a significant addition to Senomyx’s strong intellectual property portfolio,” said Don Karanewsky, Ph.D., Senior Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer of the Company. “It is especially beneficial for the Company to be granted composition-of-matter claims, which corroborate the novelty of our flavor ingredients and provide the broadest patent coverage.
“Senomyx’s proprietary technologies for the discovery and development of new flavor ingredients set us apart from companies using traditional methodologies,” Karanewsky explained. “The successful identification of our S6821 and S7958 bitter blockers, which have now received both patent protection and GRAS regulatory approval, demonstrates the value of our approach.”
As of May 10, 2011, Senomyx was the owner or exclusive licensee of 247 issued patents and several hundred pending patent applications in the U.S., Europe and numerous other countries. The Company’s patents and patent applications include claims regarding proprietary technologies for the discovery of novel flavor ingredients, as well as composition and usage claims for new flavors and flavor modulators.
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, bitter and cooling areas. The Company has product discovery and development collaborations with global food, beverage and ingredient supply companies, some of which are currently marketing products that contain Senomyx's flavor ingredients. For more information, please visit www.senomyx.com.