A March 12 H.C. Wainwright & Co. research reported indicated that additional Phase 2b/3 trial results showed Ritter Pharmaceuticals Inc. (RTTR:NASDAQ) lead drug candidate RP-G28 "promoted beneficial adaptation of the gut microbiome," wrote analyst Ram Selvaraju. "We are encouraged by this data and believe it bodes well for the upcoming confirmatory Phase 3 trial of RP-G28."
Selvaraju reiterated that RP-G28 is a "high-purity preparation of galacto-oligosaccharides, designed to stimulate the growth of beneficial bacteria in the human colon that improve the gut's ability to break down lactose," he said. Typically, lactose is metabolized by the enzyme lactase. However, when lactase is deficient, this cannot happen and causes lactose intolerance symptoms.
The newly reported trial data revealed that after 30 days of treatment, the individuals who received RP-G28 exhibited a well-defined increase in their relative number of bacteria of the: Lactobacillaceae and Bifidobacteriaceae families, Bifidobacterium genus and Actinobacteria phylum. "This is in keeping with the hypothesized mechanism of action of RP-G28 for mitigating lactose intolerance by increasing lactose-metabolizing bacteria in the colon that compensate for the deficit of endogenous lactase activity," Selvaraju pointed out. Specifically, RP-G28 treatment boosted abundances of B. angulatum, B. gallicum, B. longum, B. bifidum, B. breve and B. catenulatum.
Other findings included "an increase of Pediococcus, species of the Lactobacillales order, Enterococcaceae and Delftia," the analyst added. Actinobacteria of the Bifidobacteriaceae family also had been boosted in a greater number of treated patients.
In about three-quarters (77.7%) of the treatment cohort, the preponderance of Bifidobacteria increased, compare to roughly half (52.1%) of the placebo cohort, a statistically significant finding (p=<.001). This, Selvaraju noted, links to "a similar trend reflected in the Phase 2a data."
The next step for Ritter is to launch a Phase 3 RP-G28 study, for which, Selvaraju estimated, enrollment likely will commence this summer.
H.C. Wainwright maintains its Buy rating and $15 per share price target on Ritter, whose stock is currently trading at around $0.30 per share.
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Disclosures from H.C. Wainwright & Co., Ritter Pharmaceuticals Inc., Company Update, March 12, 2018
Investment Banking Services include, but are not limited to, acting as a manager/co-manager in the underwriting or placement of securities, acting as financial advisor, and/or providing corporate finance or capital markets-related services to a company or one of its affiliates or subsidiaries within the past 12 months.
I, Raghuram Selvaraju, Ph.D., certify that 1) all of the views expressed in this report accurately reflect my personal views about any and all subject securities or issuers discussed; and 2) no part of my compensation was, is, or will be directly or indirectly related to the specific recommendation or views expressed in this research report; and 3) neither myself nor any members of my household is an officer, director or advisory board member of these companies.
None of the research analysts or the research analystís household has a financial interest in the securities of Ritter Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (including, without limitation, any option, right, warrant, future, long or short position).
As of February 28, 2018 neither the Firm nor its affiliates beneficially own 1% or more of any class of common equity securities of Ritter Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Neither the research analyst nor the Firm has any material conflict of interest in of which the research analyst knows or has reason to know at the time of publication of this research report.
The research analyst principally responsible for preparation of the report does not receive compensation that is based upon any specific investment banking services or transaction but is compensated based on factors including total revenue and profitability of the Firm, a substantial portion of which is derived from investment banking services.
The Firm or its affiliates did not receive compensation from Ritter Pharmaceuticals, Inc. for investment banking services within twelve months before, but will seek compensation from the companies mentioned in this report for investment banking services within three months following publication of the research report.
The Firm does not make a market in Ritter Pharmaceuticals, Inc. as of the date of this research report.