PepsiCo, Purchase, N.Y., and Senomyx Inc., San Diego, entered into a four-year collaborative agreement related to Senomyx's sweet-taste technology. PepsiCo's collaboration with Senomyx will focus on the discovery, development and commercialization of sweet enhancers and natural high-potency sweeteners with the intent to bring lower-calorie beverages to the marketplace.
PepsiCo will have exclusive rights to the Senomyx sweet flavor ingredients developed under the collaboration for use in non-alcohol beverage categories. Under the agreement, Senomyx will receive an upfront payment of $30 million from PepsiCo, $7.5 million of which was paid previously. Senomyx also will be entitled to $32 million in committed research and development payments during the four-year research period.
"This relationship with Senomyx reflects our increasingly long-term approach to research and development as well as our belief that global food and beverage companies can play an important role in identifying new ingredients that can lead to healthier products," said Mehmood Khan, PepsiCo's chief scientific officer, in a statement. "The real challenge is to create products that not only are healthier but also taste great, and Senomyx has unique technologies that will allow us to improve the nutritional profile of our products without sacrificing taste. We're very optimistic that this collaboration will help us achieve our commitment to reduce added sugar per serving by 25 percent in key brands in key markets over the next decade and ultimately help people around the world live healthier lives."
"We are looking forward to working with PepsiCo on our common objective of developing products that meet the growing demand for lower-calorie offerings," said Kent Snyder, chief executive officer of Senomyx, in statement. "PepsiCo is an industry leader with its commitment to reducing added sugar in key global beverage brands, and we are particularly excited about expanding our research efforts for the discovery of enhancers of sweeteners such as sucrose and fructose and the identification of new natural high-potency sweeteners that would allow Senomyx to provide PepsiCo with a broad spectrum of sweet-taste options."
PepsiCo retains the option to extend the research collaboration for two more years, which would result in additional research funding commitments. Senomyx also will be eligible for milestone payments based on the achievement of predetermined goals as well as royalty payments.