Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Sugar Trumps Health In Soda Land

Redpoint Corporation (OTCBB: RPBC - News), a company focused on the development of healthier foods and beverages and new approaches to the treatment of diabetes and obesity, announced today that it has identified an all-natural sweetness enhancer, RP44. Taste tests conducted by an independent research laboratory demonstrate that RP44 enables the reduction of up to 25% of the caloric sweetener content in product prototypes, while still maintaining the taste quality of the fully sweetened product. RP44 has demonstrated enhancement results with several common sweeteners including sucrose (sugar), fructose and high-fructose corn syrup. As a result of these studies, the Company has initiated development activities for RP44.

Redpoint’s sweetness enhancer is intended to be used in relatively small quantities in concert with nutritive sweeteners. It acts by amplifying the sweetness intensity thereby reducing the amount of nutritive sweetener required, while retaining the desirable temporal characteristics and “clean sweet taste” associated with sugar.

“Health and wellness trends continue to be major market drivers for our industry, creating consumer demand for natural solutions that can preserve the clean sweet taste of sugar while reducing calories,” commented Ray Salemme, CEO of Redpoint Bio. “We believe that the development of an all-natural sweetness enhancer, that can amplify the sweet taste of highly caloric sweeteners like sugar and high fructose corn syrup, can permit the development of new food and beverage products that require reduced amounts of these sweeteners. In addition, RP44 has the potential to reduce overall ingredient costs for manufacturers, along with creating healthier products for consumers due to lower calorie content.”

“The current demand for nutritious and dietary products places a premium on an all natural sweetener enhancer, especially if it can provide a 15 percent or greater reduction in caloric content without changing the fully sugared taste many consumers desire”, says Carolyn Merkel a Principal with Mariner Analytical, LLC, a firm that provides market research and technical consulting services to food and beverage companies.

Anticipated development activities for RP44 include safety studies to support regulatory filings in the U.S. and elsewhere. Redpoint intends to develop RP44 through the GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe) determination/notification process. The GRAS process involves extensive testing to ensure safety in use and usually requires 12-18 months to complete.

“We have been very encouraged by the study results we have seen thus far,” continued Dr. Salemme. “We are continuing to test RP44 in various product applications and are also investigating the economics of manufacturing RP44 on a large scale. Based on what we know so far, we believe that RP44 has the potential to present a strong value proposition to food and beverage partners looking for natural sweetness enhancers.”

Redpoint intends to partner with ingredient suppliers and / or food and beverage companies, to develop and commercialize RP44.

Background: Healthier and Less Costly Food and Beverage Sweetened Products

According to Packaged Facts, the U.S. total sweetener market was approximately $3 billion in 2007. The United States Department of Agriculture shows that the U.S. consumption of sweeteners represents 6% of the market, making the global sweetener market approximately $50 billion. In some of the largest food categories such as carbonated soft drinks and confectionary products, sugar or high fructose corn syrup are the major ingredients and contributors to product cost of goods. The desire to reduce cost of goods will continue to drive interest in innovative technologies that offer the potential for reducing the amount and cost of sweetener across a wide range of products.

At the same time, it is increasingly recognized that the high consumption levels of caloric sweeteners like sugar and high fructose corn syrup are major contributors to disease. Both government and consumer groups have become increasingly alarmed at the increase in the rate of obesity in the population, and its related negative health consequences. The Center for Disease Control reports in its 2003-2006 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey that there are more than 145 million overweight and obese adults and more than 23 million overweight and obese children and adolescents in the United States. Moreover, this phenomenon can be linked to certain chronic diseases including type-2 diabetes, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease and certain cancers. This provides additional impetus for the development of products that can deliver the taste impact of sugar and high fructose corn syrup without the harmful effects of excess dietary calories.

In a perspective article appearing in the April 30, 2009 issue of The New England Journal of Medicine, two health experts stated that a tax on sugar-sweetened beverages may help curb obesity rates similar to how tobacco taxes have reduced smoking rates. The authors of the article, Thomas Frieden, the health commissioner for New York City, and Kelly Brownell, director of the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at Yale University stated that “sugar-sweetened beverages may be the single largest driver of the obesity epidemic.”

Artificial sweeteners provide one means to reduce caloric intake and cost, particularly in sweetened beverages like soft drinks, confectionary products, and dessert foods. A report published by Global Industry Analysts shows the current worldwide artificial sweetener market at $3.5 billion, and predicts expansion of the market stimulated by a worldwide effort to combat obesity. Although there are several artificial sweeteners on the market, there is a continued desire to develop new products that can preserve the clean sweet taste and temporal profile of nutritive sweeteners (e.g. sugar and high-fructose corn syrup) while also reducing the caloric content. Furthermore, consumer demand for a natural solution to calorie reduction continues to increase.

About Redpoint Bio Corporation
Redpoint is utilizing its knowledge of the biology of taste and its relationship to metabolic processes to focus its research programs on the development of healthier foods and new approaches to the treatment of diabetes and obesity. Redpoint’s work in diabetes and obesity stems from the observation that taste signaling in the gastrointestinal tract is involved in important hormone secretion processes, thus leveraging Redpoint’s work on lingual taste modulation to important therapeutic applications. For more information, please visit the Company's website

Safe Harbor Statement
In addition to historical facts or statements of current condition, this press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the "Safe Harbor" provisions of The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements provide the Company's current expectations or forecasts of future events. The Company's performance and financial results could differ materially from those reflected in these forward-looking statements due to, among other factors, uncertainty inherent in the discovery phase of technological development, any efforts by third parties to invalidate or limit any patents, the marketplace acceptance of its products, the decisions of regulatory authorities, the results of clinical trials and general financial, economic, regulatory and political conditions affecting the food and beverage, biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries generally. Given these risks and uncertainties, any or all of these forward-looking statements may prove to be incorrect. The Company undertakes no obligation to update publicly any forward-looking statement.

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