Senomyx, Inc. has announced the issuance by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office of U.S. Patent No. 7,223,551, "T1R3 Receptor Binding Assays For Identification of Taste Modulatory Compounds."
The new patent contains broad claims covering binding assays using the human T1R3 taste receptor to screen for compounds that elicit or modulate sweet taste. The patent extends the intellectual property protection provided by Senomyx's previously issued U.S. Patent No. 6,955,887, "Use of T1R Hetero-Oligomeric Taste Receptor to Screen for Compounds that Modulate Taste Signaling," which has broad-based claims that cover novel techniques for using the human sweet taste receptor as the basis for assay systems that are more efficient than traditional flavor discovery procedures.
"Senomyx has two significant discovery and development efforts related to sweet taste, our Sweet Enhancer Program and our High Potency Sweetener Program," said Kent Snyder, President and Chief Executive Officer of Senomyx. "The assays covered by the Company's new and previously issued patents enable us to screen our expansive libraries of nearly half a million natural and synthetic compounds and extracts using proprietary techniques to identify new flavor ingredients that enhance or impart sweet taste."
Senomyx's Sweet Enhancer Program is intended to provide novel flavor ingredients that enhance the taste of natural and artificial sweeteners and enable a significant reduction of added sweeteners in foods and beverages. The Company's complementary High Potency Sweetener Program is focused on identifying novel low- or non-caloric natural high potency sweeteners that provide improved taste and physical properties compared to currently available products. The flavor ingredients resulting from these programs may have applications in multiple product categories such as confectionaries, cereal, ice cream, beverages, yogurt, desserts, spreads, and bakery products, each of which represents a sizeable commercial market opportunity.
"Senomyx's pioneering work in elucidating the structure and function of the human sweet taste receptor has made the Company a leader in the field of human taste biology," explained Mark Zoller, Ph.D., Senomyx's Chief Scientific Officer and Executive Vice President of Discovery and Development. "We actively seek patent protection for our discoveries and inventions, including coverage for receptor sequences, taste receptor function, expression and assay technologies, and flavor ingredients and applications. Senomyx is now the owner or exclusive licensee of 85 issued patents and 319 pending patent applications in the U.S., Europe, and elsewhere."
"We view our intellectual property portfolio as an important asset that helps Senomyx establish collaborative agreements with market-leading food and beverage companies," Snyder added. "We intend to continue to leverage Senomyx's proprietary technologies and capabilities to enter into additional partnerships with preeminent companies that are looking to gain a competitive advantage for their products. Senomyx currently has product discovery and development collaborations with seven of the world's foremost packaged food and beverage companies: Ajinomoto, Cadbury Schweppes, Campbell Soup Company, The Coca-Cola Company, Kraft Foods, Nestle, and Solae."