May 11, 2011--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 today 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.