Aegis Affirms Ritter Pharma (RTTR) at 'Buy'; RP-G28 Phase 2b Clinical Milestone Met

October 18, 2016 12:45 PM EDT
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Aegis Capital affirms Ritter Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: RTTR) at Buy with a price target of $9 after the company announced on Monday that the last patient has completed dosing and all monitoring visits in its Phase 2b/3 clinical trial of RP-G28 for the treatment of lactose intolerance. Topline results of the trial are expected to be announced in the first quarter of 2017.

Analyst Robert LeBoyer commented today, Lactose Intolerance Is A Large Market RP-G28 is a prebiotic that promotes growth of beneficial bacteria in the intestine that can help digest lactose. These bacteria continue to reproduce after the patient completes a course of treatment, changing the microbiome of the intestine. A single treatment with RP-G28 would have a long-term effect on reducing lactose intolerance.

The company is developing RP-G28 relief from abdominal pain in patients with severe lactose intolerance, a condition that affects an estimated 9 million people in the US alone. An estimated 40 million people in the US have diagnosable lactose intolerance at various levels. These patients have moderate to severe symptoms that require strict avoidance of dairy products or use of lactose supplements throughout the day. RP-G28 is being developed as a prescription treatment for these patients.

The design of the current Phase IIb trial was similar to the Phase IIa trial, with multiple ascending doses and a larger number of patients. Data from a Phase IIa trial show that RP-G28 lead to a statistically significant decrease in abdominal pain. Results showed about 50% of the patients had complete resolution of their abdominal pain, and over 70% had at least reduction in pain of over 50%.

Following the 30 day treatment, the responders reintroduced dairy foods to their diets. At day 61, about 30% said they were able to eat and digest lactose without symptoms. We know of no other treatment that has shown a lasting, long-term effect on symptoms.

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