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 it has been notified by the Flavor and Extract Manufacturers Association (FEMA) that its sucrose enhancer, S6973, has been determined to be Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) under the provisions of the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, administered by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Sucrose (common table sugar) is widely used in many food and beverage products. Taste tests have demonstrated that S6973, which was discovered and developed by Senomyx, enables the reduction of up to 50% of the sucrose present in product prototypes while maintaining the sweet taste of natural sugar. This GRAS determination allows S6973 to be incorporated into specified products in the U.S. and in numerous other countries.
"Receiving GRAS determination for our S6973 sucrose enhancer is one of Senomyx's most important achievements and represents a significant commercial opportunity for the Company," stated Kent Snyder, Chief Executive Officer of Senomyx. "By enabling a meaningful reduction in sugar content without altering the sweet taste, S6973 could allow manufacturers to offer appealing products with lower calories and improved nutritional profiles." Limiting sugar consumption is a priority for the many consumers who have dietary concerns, particularly the growing number of adults and children affected by obesity or diabetes.
Senomyx had stated previously that its goal was to obtain a GRAS determination for S6973 by the end of the first quarter of 2010. "We are excited to receive the GRAS designation earlier than originally anticipated," Snyder noted. "Due to the outstanding efforts of our scientific and regulatory team, Senomyx was able to submit an application for the use of S6973 in a large number of products ahead of our expected timeframe. We are extremely pleased to be granted GRAS status for all of the uses and use levels requested."
The GRAS designation allows usage of S6973 in baked goods, cereals, gum, condiments and relishes, confectioneries and frostings, frozen dairy offerings, fruit ices, gelatins and puddings, hard and soft candy, jams and jellies, milk products, and sauces. Numerous individual product types are included in each of these broad categories. In addition, the Company is evaluating the opportunity to pursue a GRAS designation for S6973 in additional product categories in the future.
As discussed previously, Senomyx is also continuing the evaluation of additional sucrose enhancers. These enhancers have distinct physical properties that may be advantageous for a variety of beverage products that have specific requirements due to packaging and storage conditions utilized by the beverage industry. "We look forward to completing development of the new promising sucrose enhancers that could address the special needs of these products," Snyder added.
S6973 was discovered and developed using Senomyx's proprietary taste receptor technologies, which have yielded other unique flavor ingredients. In November 2008 Senomyx was awarded a GRAS designation for S2383, a highly effective enhancer of sucralose, a high-intensity sweetener used in a wide variety of beverages and foods such as confectionaries, baked goods, desserts, and dairy products, as well as over-the-counter (OTC) healthcare products and dietary supplements. Pre-commercialization activities have been initiated for S2383.