San Diego Business Journal

New PepsiCo Deal Boosts Senomyx Inc.’s Stock

By Meghana Keshavan Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Stock for San Diego flavor maker Senomyx Inc. rose after the company signed a new deal with PepsiCo to develop chemicals that will “restore the desired salty taste in products with reduced salt.”

Pepsi will fund the biotech’s “Salt Taste” research program through December 2014 and possibly for three additional years, and has secured nonexclusive rights to salt flavor chemicals discovered in the program.

Further, Pepsi will receive a two-year exclusivity period to use these flavor modifiers in snack foods and snack dips, Senomyx said in a securities filing.

Senomyx already has an existing agreement with PepsiCo for rights to an artificial sweetener called Sweetmyx, which received the designation of “generally recognized as safe” by the Food and Drug Administration.

Shares for Senomyx (Nasdaq: SNMX) rose as much as 12.6 percent in day trading following the announcement, closing at $10.79 on April 9.