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Senomyx's CEO Presents At Deutsche Bank 37th Annual Healthcare Conference (Transcript)

Seeking Alpha

05/09/12 - 08:56 PM EDT

Senomyx Inc. (SNMX)

Deutsche Bank 37th Annual Healthcare Conference Call

May 8 2012 4:10 pm ET


Kent Snyder – Chairman and Chief Executive Officer

Tony Rogers – Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer



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Good afternoon everyone. I’m Barbara Ryan and welcome to Senomyx. It’s our pleasure to host them here this year. It’s a company that’s focused on using taste receptor technology to discover and develop flavor ingredients for the food, beverage and ingredient supply industries.

Joining me here on the podium, we have two presenters from the company, Kent Snyder, the Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board of Directors; and the Chief Financial Officer, Tony Rogers, and I think they are both going to give us an overview of the company, and then we will open it up to your questions, thank you.

Kent Snyder

Thank you, Barbara. Thank you for attending today. Before we get started I should make the obligatory statement about our presentation that we maybe making certain forward-looking statements, during the presentation and then we would ask you to refer to our most recent SEC filings for a complete disclosure of risk factors.

So we are a little bit different type of company. This is a health care conference, so we’ll talk a little bit about some of the science behind Senomyx, but we are a company that utilize the tools and techniques that were learnt from the Bio-tech industry and have developed into a nearly what we taste science and which has led to the discovery of novel flavor ingredients for the food, beverage and flavor industry and the reason why we think this is important for carrying out the science is there is lot of health concerns about the foods and beverages that we consume.

Food and beverages companies are looking for renovation they have to watch their costs and certainly they are very concerned about taste quality. So, we’ll talk a little bit about each of our program today, including the Sweet Taste Program, here the goal is to reduce the amount of added sugar or added sweetener to products. We have a Savory Flavor Program, which is aimed at reducing or eliminated added (inaudible) products.

We also look at flavor ingredients to block the bitter taste, we have a Cool Flavor Program and then also we have a Salt Enhancer Taste Program that I’ll touch as well. So before we get into a little bit about the business side and some more programs, it’s important to understand a little bit about the physiology of taste. And so we know where our taste buds are located on the tongue. We know that there are five basic taste, which are sweet, salt, bitter, sour, and savory, which is the taste of MSG. And we know that taste buds have specialized cells for each taste modality.

So if you take a cross section of a taste bud, you would see a bundle of cells, which is depicted on the right and each sweet taste or each taste modality has its own taste cell. So, there is sweet taste cell for example. And we’ll show you a little bit about the Science of Senomyx here in a moment.

So what we aim to do is to find flavor ingredients, which react with at the Taste Receptors on the surface of the tongue in terms of mimicking a specific taste or making a flavor or enhancing a specific taste like enhancing the sweet taste or blocking a taste such as our Bitter Blocker Program.

So, we have a little bit of animation to show you a bit more detail in terms of what we do.


So, hopefully that gave you a little bit of overview of what we do with the science of Senomyx. So, let me now turn to some of our programs and the processes that we use to discover new flavor ingredients. So when we begin, we started in the beginning by identifying the receptor of interest, we build an assay containing that receptor and then we do high throughput screening with our corporate library, which currently is about 800,000 different compounds and samples. Once we find something that interacts the receptor that we are targeting we will do the optimization. And leading to a candidate for selection and this is really where we have a strong IT position in terms of what we do at Senomyx.

Once we have a flavor ingredient selected for development, we start the safety assessment process with these regulatory focused activities, which in the U.S is called the GRAS or generally recognized as saved and that leads to regulatory approval, which in our hands, once you select a new flavor ingredient for development, it takes about 15 to 18 months to go through the GRAS regulatory approval process.

Once we have regulatory approval, we hand off to our partners. They do the commercial development, which includes product application work, the manufacturing scale up. And then once they are done with that they are ready to go to market and start selling the ingredients to their customers. And we’ll talk about the business model in a bit more details here in a few moments.

So, let me now turn to an overview of our various programs and I’ll start with a Sweet Taste Program, which I think most of us feel is a key to our future. Here the idea is to reduce the amount of added sugar or other sweeteners in the product like you have maintained the desired sweet taste that consumers like. This results in decreased calories, which improves the nutritional profile of the product, and also results in a potential cost savings as well. The collaborators of the Sweet Taste Program are Firmenich, a Geneva based Private Flavor Company, and then PepsiCo of course.

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