It turns out that Chromocell’s technology — meant to find new ways to block pain receptors, among other solutions — also could be used to discover new flavor enhancers and other compounds, ones that could block bitterness or increase the perception of sweetness or saltiness in food.
“At first we were a little bit skeptical, but the scientific team said, ‘No, this is a really interesting area,’” Kopfli said. “And we also felt that if you’re really able to reduce sugar consumption by a high degree, the impact on public health that you have is actually very, very big.”
Opening that door has helped propel Chromocell’s growth over the past decade.
The company, thanks in part to partnerships with food giants such as Kraft Foods, Nestle and Coca-Cola, now does multimillions in revenue (it would not reveal a specific amount) while it has grown from just three employees to about 120 today.
Kopfli, the CEO, also is proud that the company has not lost sight of its original mission in the pharmaceutical space. In fact, its growth comes as Chromocell looks ahead to clinical trials for a new pain medication — the company plans on filing an Investigational New Drug Application with the FDA as soon as this year.
“One of the challenges we had in our corporate development — and it’s a nice challenge, in a way — (is that) the flavor development took so much of our time and attention and resources, that it distracted us a little bit … from developing the therapeutics business,” Kopfli said. “But we never made a fundamental change and said, ‘Let’s just now do flavors because it’s good business.’ We always said, ‘No, you should use this technology for both.’”
The technology that holds those two core businesses together is known as Chromovert. Meant to streamline the process of biological research and drug discovery, Chromovert allows the firm to sift through vast amounts of cells and analyze how they react to certain molecules.
For the full story: http://www.njbiz.com/article/20150713/NJBIZ01/307139996/food-for-thought-how-biotech-chromocell-impacts-the-flavor-of-your-meals?utm_source=Listrak&utm_medium=Email&utm_term=http%3a%2f%2fwww.njbiz.com%2farticle%2f20150713%2fNJBIZ01%2f307139996%2ffood-for-thought-how-biotech-chromocell-impacts-the-flavor-of-your-meals&utm_campaign=The+Daily%3a+BLS+examines+N.J.+employment+and+wages%2c+county+by+county