SAN DIEGO — Senomyx, Inc., a company involved in proprietary taste science technologies, has hired an advisory firm to explore and evaluate all available strategic options. Needham & Co., an investment bank, will act as the lead financial adviser, and Conexus Capital Advisors, an independent corporate advisory firm, will serve as an additional strategic adviser, Senomyx said.

“The Senomyx board has engaged both Needham & Company and Conexus Capital Advisors to evaluate a range of potential strategic alternatives, including the potential sale of the company, with the goal of enhancing value for our shareholders,” said Kent Snyder, chairman of the board of directors of Senomyx. “Given our longstanding relationship with Needham & Company, we are well aware of their expertise and are confident in their ability to skillfully serve as our lead financial adviser through this process. Additionally, following the successful conclusion of our previous strategic review process, which resulted in the monetization of certain cool taste ingredients for a sum of $10 million, we’ve decided to, once again, engage Conexus Capital Advisors for their sector expertise, knowledge of Senomyx and proven track record.”

Senomyx said it does not intend to comment further on its plans unless and until its board has approved a specific transaction or concludes the review of strategic alternatives.

Senomyx currently has collaborative agreements with several of the world’s leading packaged food, beverage and ingredient companies, including Ajinomoto Co., Inc., Firmenich SA, and PepsiCo, Inc. The collaboration agreements historically have provided license fees, research and development funding, reimbursement of certain costs, milestone payments based upon achievement of research or development goals and, in the event of commercialization, commercial milestones, minimum periodic royalties and/or royalties on sales of products incorporating Senomyx’s flavor ingredients.

Senomyx flavor labIn addition to revenues from collaborative agreements, Senomyx has a complementary commercialization strategy whereby it sells certain flavor ingredients directly to flavor companies for re-sale to their food and beverage company customers. Senomyx also has the ability to sell flavor ingredients directly to food, beverage, consumer product and pharmaceutical customers.

As of Dec. 31, 2017, Senomyx was the owner or the exclusive licensee of 233 issued U.S. patents, 35 pending U.S. patent applications, 422 issued foreign patents and 187 pending foreign applications covering various aspects of proprietary technology.

The company sustained a loss of $1,263,000 in the fiscal year ended Dec. 31, 2017, which compared with a loss of $10,686,000 in fiscal 2016. Total revenues in fiscal 2017 totaled $29,320,000, which compared with $23,039,000 in fiscal 2016.