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Friday, August 06, 2010

Unidentified Flying Flavors Now Arriving in Your Food

Senomyx is a flavor enhancer and it can be designed to have salt, sweet, cooling, or bitter blocking flavors, or perhaps the range is unlimited.  Combination and permutations of chemical tweaking probably can allow your imagination to conjure up anything your taste-altered taste buds might imagine.

Time to get out of the box on the shelf or the can in the cupboard and get back to scratch.  Cooking that is!

By Robert Cohen,
Posted: 13 March 2009

We are witnessing the dawning of a sci-fi food revolution. A new technology. A new food group. Amazingly, my research uncovered something nobody has ever revealed before in a column, newspaper article, or magazine expose. The next time you read "artificial flavor" on a food label, you should be aware that a component of that new genetically engineered food additive may be embryonic kidney cells from aborted human fetuses.

The new high-tech artificial flavors are not flavors at all. Instead, they contain chemicals which have been engineered to fool human taste buds. Future foods will need no salt, sugar, MSG, or artificial sweeteners. Instead, sensory perceptions will become warped by modern science. Brains will taste things that are not really there. Illusions. Deceptions. Memories of taste which are now artificially induced.

The Abstract:J Biol Chem. 2008 May 2;283(18):11981-94.
Small molecule activator of the human epithelial sodium
channel.Lu M, Echeverri F, Kalabat D, Laita B, Dahan DS, Smith RD, Xu H, Staszewski L, Yamamoto J, Ling J, Hwang N, Kimmich R, Li P, Patron E, Keung W, Patron A, Moyer BD.
Senomyx, Inc., San Diego, California 92121.

The epithelial sodium channel (ENaC), a heterotrimeric complex composed of alpha, beta, and gamma subunits, belongs to the ENaC/degenerin family of ion channels and forms the principal route for apical Na(+) entry in many reabsorbing epithelia.

Although high affinity ENaC blockers, including amiloride and derivatives, have been described, potent and specific small molecule ENaC activators have not been reported. Here we describe compound S3969 that fully and reversibly activates human ENaC (hENaC) in an amiloride-sensitive and dose-dependent manner in heterologous cells. Mechanistically, S3969 increases hENaC open probability through interactions requiring the extracellular domain of the beta subunit. hENaC activation by S3969 did not require cleavage by the furin protease, indicating that nonproteolyzed channels can be opened. Function of alphabetaG37Sgamma hENaC, a channel defective in gating that leads to the salt-wasting disease pseudohypoaldosteronism type I, was rescued by S3969. Small molecule activation of hENaC may find application in alleviating human disease, including pseudohypoaldosteronism type I, hypotension, and neonatal respiratory distress syndrome, when improved Na(+) flux across epithelial membranes is clinically desirable.

OK, so what does it all mean? Another question: What's $6 today and $100 in the Near Future? SNMX trades on NASDAQ

From the Senomyx website: Translation: Senomyx is re-inventing food and flavor by genetically engineering taste bud receptor cell triggers. Foods of the future will contain "flavor enhancers" which fool human taste buds into perceiving the sensations of sweetness, sourness, saltiness, and bitterness.

Remember the artificial sweetener controversies? Chemical sugar-replicating compounds are listed on food labels. The new chemicals made by biotech companies will require no such labels. Although they are not actual flavors, they will be called "artificial flavors."

How did Senomyx accomplish the task? A (multi-hour) review of their patents reveals that it all began with the cloning of human embryonic kidney cells. Step two was a recombinant process involving the combination of genetic material from embryonic kidney cells and human adeno-virus. If I had the ability to recall ten thousand abbreviations for the amino acid sequence, plus hundreds of complex combinations of ACTG (adeneine, cytosine, thymine, guanine) I'd describe the structure to you. For those curious scientists, do a google search with the keywords 'Senomyx and patents' and the third link ( will provide more info than you need to know. See: United States Patent #5,993,778.

How far into the future will these new biotech wonders appear in our food supply? The future is now. The next time you read "artificial flavor" on a food label, pause to consider what you've read here today. Content labels should read: Embryonic kidney cells from aborted human fetuses.

Senomyx is presently developing new products with many of the world's largest food manufacturers including Campbell's and Coca Cola. In fact, if you eat Nestle's foods, your taste buds are being artificially stimulated by biotech products developed by Senomyx. You may now know what you are eating, but I take this opportunity to paraphrase 17th century author Miguel Cervantes, who wrote in Don Quixote: "The proof is in the pudding."

Senomyx Q2 Revenues Up 91%; Outlook Encouraging, Source: Senomyx, Inc

August 5 - Senomyx, Inc., a company focused on using proprietary taste receptor-based technologies to discover novel flavor ingredients for the food, beverage, and ingredient supply industries, today provided a corporate update and reported financial results for the second quarter ended June 30, 2010.

Revenues were $5.7 million for the second quarter of 2010, compared to $3.0 million for the second quarter of 2009, an increase of 91%. Revenues were $13.4 million for the six months ended June 30, 2010, compared to $6.5 million for the six months ended June 30, 2009, an increase of 107%. As of June 30, 2010, the Company had cash, cash equivalents, and short term investments of approximately $55.4 million.

“The second quarter of 2010 has been very active for Senomyx,” stated Kent Snyder, Chief Executive Officer of the Company. “During the quarter we were informed that the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has provided a ‘favorable opinion’ for Senomyx’s Savory Flavor Ingredients, S336 and S807, which means that no further evaluation is required. The successful conclusion of the evaluation is a key step toward receiving an approval to use these ingredients in the European Union.”

Senomyx’s Savory Flavor Ingredients are intended to reduce or replace added monosodium glutamate (MSG) in foods and beverages. Final regulatory approval and commercialization in the EU is contingent upon the ingredients being included in the EFSA Union List, which EFSA has targeted for publication by the end of 2010.

“NestlĂ©, the world’s largest food and beverage company, is currently conducting marketing activities in the Pacific Rim, Latin America, and Africa with both new and reformulated established products that incorporate Senomyx’s Savory Flavor Ingredients. Approval in Europe could create a new market opportunity for NestlĂ©,” Snyder noted.

“In addition, Ajinomoto, a leading global manufacturer of food and culinary products, is introducing products that contain a Senomyx flavor ingredient in Asia and another key region,” Snyder stated. “Ajinomoto has increased the number of products launched and has also selected several new Senomyx flavor ingredients for potential marketing.” Selection of the new ingredients, which are all currently being evaluated by Ajinomoto, triggered a $500,000 milestone payment to Senomyx.

“Another Senomyx partner, Firmenich, is continuing commercial activities for Senomyx’s extremely effective enhancer of the high-intensity sweetener sucralose (S2383),” Snyder said. Firmenich SA, a global leader in providing ingredients and flavor systems to major consumer companies, has exclusive worldwide rights to market the sucralose enhancer as either a stand-alone ingredient or as part of a flavor system in all food and beverage product categories.

“Senomyx’s recent scientific achievements include important progress in our Bitter Blocker Program during the past quarter,” Snyder noted. “Development activities, including primary safety studies, have now been completed for our S6821 Bitter Blocker, allowing Senomyx to submit regulatory filings for S6821 in the second half of the year. S6821 is effective in reducing the bitterness of a variety of product prototypes. We are encouraged by the accelerated pace of our development activities and the potential long-term value of our Bitter Blocker Program.

“We are also enthusiastic about the success Senomyx has had with our Sweet Enhancer program,” Snyder commented. “As announced on June 24, our advances in this program have led to Senomyx and PepsiCo, the world’s second-largest food and beverage company, signing a letter agreement and entering into an exclusive 60-day negotiation period regarding the completion of a definitive agreement for a new collaboration related to Senomyx’s sweet taste technology.”

Senomyx’s letter agreement with PepsiCo includes key commercial and financial terms for a potential multi-year collaborative research program focused on the discovery, development, and commercialization of new artificial sweet enhancers, natural sweet enhancers, and natural high potency sweeteners for the non-alcoholic beverage category. Under the letter agreement, Senomyx has received a payment of $7.5 million from PepsiCo. The payment, which is non-refundable except under limited circumstances, will be applied as partial payment towards an upfront license fee if Senomyx and PepsiCo enter into a final definitive agreement.

“PepsiCo is an innovative company that shares our commitment to providing healthier, great-tasting products to consumers. We believe that our potential new collaboration would include a commercialization timeframe and other terms that are beneficial for both companies,” Snyder stated.

In addition to other accomplishments, the Company increased its intellectual property portfolio during the past quarter. As of June 30, 2010, Senomyx is the owner or exclusive licensee of 207 issued patents and 362 pending patent applications related to proprietary taste receptor technologies in the U.S., Europe, and elsewhere. Technologies covered in the Company’s patents include taste receptor sequences and functions, screening assays, new flavor ingredients, and product applications.

Senomyx achieved its recent scientific advances under the leadership of Donald S. Karanewsky, Ph.D., who has served as Senior Vice President, Discovery since joining Senomyx in June 2007. In recognition of his valuable contributions to the Company, Dr. Karanewsky was appointed to the position of Senior Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer during the past quarter. Dr. Karanewsky received his Ph.D. and Master’s degrees in Chemistry from Harvard University and was granted a B.S. in Chemistry, Magna Cum Laude, from Stevens Institute of Technology in New Jersey.

Discovery & Development Program Updates:
Sweet Enhancer Program: The primary goal for this program is to identify flavor ingredients that allow a significant reduction of sweeteners in food and beverage products while maintaining the desired sweet taste. Senomyx has received a GRAS (Generally Recognized As Safe) regulatory designation for S6973, the Company’s sucrose enhancer that enables up to 50% reduction of sugar in certain foods and beverages while maintaining the sweet taste of natural sugar. The GRAS designation allows it to be used in the U.S. and in numerous other countries for most food products and selected beverages such as flavored milk, as well as ready-to-drink and instant coffee and tea. The sucrose enhancer is currently being evaluated by potential collaborators interested in using it for these beverage categories. Firmenich has exclusive worldwide rights to commercialize this sucrose enhancer for virtually all food categories, and co-exclusive rights for the powdered beverage category. Firmenich has initiated pre-commercialization activities with major clients in anticipation of conducting its first product launches during 2011.

Additional advances with the Sweet Enhancer Program include the identification of a new family of sucrose enhancers with distinct physical properties that may be advantageous for a broader range of beverages and other product applications. A recently discovered sucrose enhancer from this family enables up to 50% reduction of sugar in preliminary taste tests.

During the first quarter of 2010, the Company identified the first Senomyx flavor ingredients that demonstrate a statistically significant amplification of the sweet taste of fructose, a key component of high fructose corn syrup. High fructose corn syrup is the primary sweetener used in carbonated and certain other beverages, especially in North America. A number of new samples have been active in the fructose enhancer screening assay. These are being optimized to increase their potency and improve their physical properties, followed by evaluation in taste tests.

Bitter Blocker Program: The primary goals of this program are to reduce or block bitter taste and to improve the overall taste characteristics of foods, beverages, and ingredients. Taste tests have demonstrated that S6821 and S0812, alone or in combination, can provide statistically significant reductions in the bitterness of a variety of product prototypes and food ingredients including tea, cocoa, menthol, various proteins, and the sweeteners Rebaudioside-A (a derivative of the stevia plant), Acesulfame potassium (Ace-K), and saccharine. Senomyx expects to submit regulatory applications for S6821 during the second half of this year. In addition, the Company believes development activities with S0812 will conclude by year-end and regulatory filings are planned for 2011.

Salt Enhancer Program: The goal of the Salt Enhancer Program is to identify flavor ingredients that allow a significant reduction of sodium in foods and beverages yet maintain the salty taste desirable to consumers. Senomyx discovered SNMX-29, a protein with characteristics that indicate it could be involved in human salt taste perception, and identified samples that are active in screening assays based on this protein. These active samples have not provided significant enhancement of saltiness in taste tests, which leads the Company to believe that SNMX-29 is not the primary receptor responsible for human salt taste. The Company is exploring the role of other proteins that may be integral to the sensation of salty taste. This high-priority effort involves chemistry and biology approaches, including assessing components of Senomyx’s proprietary database of proteins found in taste buds. Senomyx believes that discovery of the protein or proteins that function as the salt taste receptor could lead to identifying a salt taste enhancer.

Cooling Flavor Program: The goal of the Cooling Flavor Program is to identify novel cooling flavors that do not have the limitations of currently available agents. Senomyx has discovered new cooling flavors that demonstrated a taste proof-of-concept and displayed cooling properties that exceed those of commonly used agents. Senomyx and its partner for this program, Firmenich, have prioritized sample classes that are the focus of further optimization.

Financial Review: Revenues were $5.7 million for the second quarter of 2010, compared to $3.0 million for the second quarter of 2009, an increase of 91%. Revenues were $13.4 million for the six months ended June 30, 2010, compared to $6.5 million for the six months ended June 30, 2009, an increase of 107%. The increases in revenues for the second quarter and the year-to-date were primarily due to the recognition of license fee and R&D funding revenue related to the Company’s August 2009 Sweet Enhancer collaboration with Firmenich. License fee and R&D funding related to the collaboration contributed $3.3 million and $6.2 million for the three and six month periods ending June 30, 2010. Also contributing to the increase year-to-date was a total of $3.0 million in non-recurring milestone payments and cost reimbursements from collaborators.

Research and development expenses, including stock-based compensation expense, were $7.1 million for the second quarter of 2010, compared to $7.8 million for the second quarter of 2009, a decrease of 10%. Research and development expenses, including stock-based compensation expense, were $13.5 million for the six months ended June 30, 2010, compared to $15.4 million for the six months ended June 30, 2009, a decrease of 13%. These decreases were primarily due to reduced expenditures for compound acquisition and related high-throughput screening activities and reduced personnel-related expenses.

General and administrative expenses, including stock-based compensation expense, were $3.3 million for the second quarter of 2010, compared to $3.2 million for the second quarter of 2009, an increase of 3%. General and administrative expenses, including stock-based compensation expense, were $6.4 million for the six months ended June 30, 2010, compared to $6.5 million for the six months ended June 30, 2009, a decrease of 1%.

The net loss for the second quarter of 2010 was $0.12 per share, compared to a net loss of $0.26 per share for the second quarter of 2009. The net loss for the six months ended June 30, 2010 was $0.18 per share, compared to $0.50 per share for the six months ended June 30, 2009.

2010 Outlook: “Due to the receipt of $7.5 million from PepsiCo related to the June letter agreement, we are revising our cash utilization guidance for 2010 from a range of $14 million to $16 million to a range of $6 million to $8 million. At this time, we are not revising our other financial guidance metrics; however, we will update our financial guidance as necessary if we enter into a definitive agreement with PepsiCo,” stated Tony Rogers, Vice President and Chief Financial Officer.

For the full year 2010, Senomyx now expects: Total revenues of $20 million to $24 million Total expenses of $42 million to $44 million, of which $5 million to $6 million is non-cash, stock-based compensation expense Net loss of $18 million to $21 million Basic and diluted net loss of $0.48 to $0.56 per share Net cash used in operating activities between $6 million and $8 million
More from Natural Health News -
Oct 21, 2009
... salt and fat (as trans-fats), as well as the addition - not mentioned by Kessler - of artificial coloring, flavorings, HFCS, aspartame and sucralose, flavor enhancers such as MSG and Senomyx all add to the problem. ...
Nov 20, 2007
Nov 20, 2007
Senomyx is the manufacturer. Humans and animals require salt (sodium and a little chloride) for health. Even as little as a lick of really natural salt can lower blood pressure (or two celery stalks a day) and help your heart. Dr. ...
Jun 25, 2010
June 24 - Senomyx, Inc. , 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 and PepsiCo, ...
Feb 09, 2010
If you haven't heard about Senomyx think of a flavor enhancer like MSG. The bad news doesn't stop there, but the FDA says they don't have to label it. It comes under artificial flavors. Of course, we've told all consumers never use ...
Jan 11, 2010
Campbell's is one of the biggest sodium, MSG, and Senomyx users; they aren't required to list Senomyx on the label either. Watch Your Salt And some other good information you may want to know so you understand why you need natural salt, ...
May 19, 2008
We also warn against synthetic flavorings like Senomyx that is used in place of salt. They make a similar product for sweet tastes as well. This is not required to be on labels, and may lead to damage to your taste buds. ...


Anonymous said...

Please Yoda, please say it aint so...aborted fetuses? Why are these ppl messing with us and nature? Forever feeling that they can improve on nature while they mess us up and believe me, 'mess' was not my first choice of word, but I need to keep your blog clean. I am so upset when I read these things. Educated fools who continue to harm us all. I am so upset!!!


I am very much concerned about my health and this one is new information for me. Today we see artificial flavors in every kind of canned food, or in bottles and it is very much necessary to know fully about it, you article is great in the end.

bowiebimbo said...

FUCKED UP!!!! Everyone, start your own gardens or get community gardens going and either raise your own meat and/or poultry or get to know someone who does so. Also, fish if you can.

I live in an apartment and us tenants started our apartment community garden.