Senomyx is using proprietary taste receptor technologies to discover and develop novel flavor ingredients. These include new flavors such as Savory Flavors and Cooling Flavors, as well as flavor modulators such as Bitter Blockers and enhancers of Sweet and Salt tastes. Senomyx is also engaged in a new effort to discover and develop natural high potency sweeteners. Ten of its flavor ingredients have received Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) regulatory status, which allows usage in the U.S. and numerous other countries: six Savory Flavors (used to reduce or replace MSG or create new savory blends), S2383 (used to reduce sucralose), S6973 (used to reduce sugar), and two bitter blockers, S6821 and S7958. 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.

Flavors are substances that impart tastes or aromas in foods and beverages. Individuals experience the sensation of taste when flavors in food and beverage products interact with taste receptors in the mouth. A taste receptor functions either by physically binding to a flavor ingredient in a process analogous to the way a key fits into a lock or by acting as a channel to allow ions to flow directly into a taste cell. As a result of these interactions, signals are sent to the brain where a specific taste sensation is registered. There are currently five recognized primary senses of taste: umami, which is the savory taste of glutamate, sweet, salt, bitter, and sour.

Senomyx has discovered or in-licensed many of the key receptors that mediate taste in humans. Using isolated human taste receptors, the company created proprietary taste receptor-based assay systems that provide a biochemical or electronic readout when a flavor ingredient interacts with the receptor. Its high-throughput discovery and development process allows the company to conduct millions of analyses of new potential flavor ingredients annually. This efficiency is impossible to achieve using conventional flavor discovery methods. As a result, Senomyx has identified hundreds of unique potential new flavor ingredients that could not be discovered using taste tests alone.

Senomyx has five Discovery & Development programs: Savory Flavors Program, Sweet Taste Program, Salt Taste Program, Bitter Blocker Program, and Cooling Flavors Program. The company’s collaborative agreements provide its partners exclusive or co-exclusive use of the flavor ingredients resulting from one or more of its Discovery & Development programs, in specific product categories and geographies. The exclusive nature of the agreements allows its partners to differentiate their products from those of its competitors. Senomyx retains rights to enter into license agreements with multiple other companies for the same flavor ingredients in non-competing product categories or geographies.

Through its collaboration agreements, Senomyx received and expects to continue to receive a combination of upfront license fee payments, research and development funding, and milestone payments. In addition, the company will receive royalties from the sales of its collaborators’ products that contain Senomyx flavor ingredients. These royalty payments will continue through the lifetime of patents covering the Senomyx ingredients incorporated into the products, allowing the company to participate in the revenue generated as its collaborators sell their products, grow their sales, and establish new markets.

In addition to their development and commercial activities, Senomyx contributes to the community by supporting educational, environmental, charitable, and health & wellness causes. The company recently launched a blog to connect and share their community efforts.

Senomyx, Inc.
4767 Nexus Centre Drive, San Diego, California 92121
Tel: (858) 646-8300
Fax: (858) 404-0752
Founded: 1999
Employees: 120

Initial private financing

Kent Snyder – CEO & Chairman
John Poyhonen – President & COO
Sharon Wicker – SVP & Chief Commercial Development Officer
Donald Karanewsky, PhD – SVP & CSO
David Berger – VP, General Counsel &
Corporate Secretary
Susan Firestone – VP Human Resources
David Linemeyer, PhD – VP, Biology
Lorenzo Peña – VP, Information Technology
Tony Rogers – VP & CFO
Gwen Rosenberg – VP, Investor Relations & Corporate Communications


Technology Innovators:

Roger Y. Tsien, PhD
Pharmacology, Chemistry and Biochemistry
Howard Hughes Investigator

Charles Zucker

Charles Zuker, PhD
Professor – Biochemistry and Neuroscience
Howard Hughes Investigator