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Senomyx Q2 Loss Narrows; Direct Sales Strategy Underway

Posted: August 1, 2013

Senomyx Inc., which recently implemented a direct sales strategy rather than relying solely on licensing collaborations for commercialization, narrowed its second-quarter loss.

In addition, Ken Simone, who has nearly 30 years of global supply chain, manufacturing, quality and product application experience, has joined Senomyx in the newly created position of vice president, supply chain.

For the quarter ended June 30, Senomyx posted a loss of $2.33 million compared to a loss of $3.09 million a year earlier. Revenue rose 10.6% to $7.67 million.

The company said that part of its new direct sales strategy includes selling certain pure, also commonly referred to as 'neat', ingredients to flavor companies that can incorporate them into proprietary flavor systems for their customers. Senomyx's internal commercial organization will handle sales and marketing, as well as supply chain management of third-party manufacturers. The direct sales strategy complements Senomyx's existing collaborations, which are based on exclusive or co-exclusive commercialization licenses with partners that pay royalties to the company.

Under the new sales initiative, Senomyx's first product will be its S9632 sucrose modifier, which is expected to have its first commercial sale in late-2013 or early-2014 for end-use in non-alcoholic beverages and powdered beverages.

"Initial evaluations of our S9632 sucrose modifier, as well as selected flavor ingredients from our savory taste and bitter blockers programs, are now underway,” said Kent Snyder, Senomyx's CEO. “The interest shown by the flavor companies during this early phase of our direct sales initiative is very encouraging. In addition, we remain on track to receive initial commercial quantities of S9632 from our contract manufacturer in the fourth quarter of 2013."

In addition, under the terms of the new Firmenich Amendment, after a period of exclusivity for Firmenich, Senomyx can begin selling other ingredients with sweet flavor modifying properties for use in food and selected beverage product categories. The company also expects to expand its direct sales product portfolio with ingredients from its other taste programs. Flavor company evaluations of Senomyx's S6821 bitter blocker and certain of its savory flavor ingredients are ongoing.

Snyder also said a recent "notable achievement" was the discovery of a natural sucrose modifier, which is the first taste modifier proof-of-concept for the company’s natural products initiative. Related plant-derived samples from its expanded natural products library are currently being assessed via Senomyx's proprietary high-throughput screening systems and taste tests.