R&D agreements perk up Redpoint's finances

By Laura Crowley

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Flavor Taste Coca-cola

Taste modulators Redpoint Bio have reported strong Q1 results on
the back of its R&D collaborations with Coca-Cola and flavor
and fragrances company Givaudan.

Redpoint recorded revenue of $0.9m for its first quarter, up substantially from $41,000 at the same point last year. The majority of this amount ($0.7m) came from its agreement with Givaudan, Scott Horvitz, chief financial officer, told FoodNavigator-USA.com. This was signed last March and gave Givaudan access to Redpoint Bio's proprietary technologies to develop tasty solutions for healthy products. The remaining $0.2m of revenue came from the commencement of Redpoint's one-year agreement with the Coca Cola Company signed last December, to develop proprietary technology for use in non-alcoholic beverage. Research funding from the two agreements and grant revenue jumped from $41,000 in 2007 to 909,000 this year. In line with the increased funding, there have been some significant recent developments within Redpoint that will help the two companies. These include the issuance of two patents covering the use of its technology for discovering ways to modulate the way the human body detects taste. Results and developments ​Redpoint's total operating expenses increased slightly from $3.5m to $3.6m, and it reported a net loss for the first quarter of 2008 of $2.5m, a substantial drop from $5.3m at the same point in 2007. "We are pleased with our operational progress during the quarter,​ said Ray Salemme, chief executive officer for Redpoint. "Research and development activities continue with our two collaborative partners, Givaudan and The Coca-Cola Company,as well as out internal discovery programs,"​ Redpoint's patented technology identified modulators of the TRPM5 ion channel - the pathway that transmits the 'taste' of food to the different taste cells for each of the three basic taste qualities - sweet, bitter and savory. According to Redpoint, without the TRPM5 channel, it is possible to taste sour and salty flavor but not the other three - observations that led the company to the understanding that tastes could be enhanced - or blocked - by modulating the way this channel works. Salemme added: "The two recent patent issuances we received from theUSPatent and Trademark Office are significant in that they serve to solidify our intellectual property position. "Together they provide Redpoint with coverage for various methods of identifying potential methods of the TRPM5 ion channel, which is a key focus of our research and development programs for compounds, which could act as flavor enhancers and bitter blockers." Agreements ​Flavors giant Givaudan introduced its TasteSolution program in 2005. It provides maskers, modulators and flavors that allow food formulators to develop products that taste good as well as contributing to healthier lifestyles - as well as the expertise to use them. It entered into an alliance with Redpoint Bio for the development and commercialization of compounds that enhance sweetness or savory sensation and compounds that block or desensitize bitter taste for use in the food and beverage industry. The agreement, which saw the company pay an upfront technology fee of $1.3m to Redpoint and then to provide research funding of up to $11.6m, responds to the growing need for tastier foods that are lower in salt, fat and sugar. Coco-Cola's agreed to pay $900,000 for the year for the development of certain beverage technology. It also gained exclusive right to negotiate to extend and expand the collaboration into a broader, multi-year research, development and commercialization program. On the union, Salemme said: "We believe this agreement is a further endorsement of Redpoint Bio's unique capabilities for the discovery and development of beverage technology."

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