Maxim raises Ritter Pharma price target to $5

Maxim Group raised its price target for Ritter Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:RTTR) to $5 from $4 ahead of top-line data in the current quarter for a Phase 2b/3 study of RP-G28 for the treatment of lactose intolerance. The stock closed at $3.49 on Feb. 13.

“As data approaches, we roll our numbers forward to 2017,” writes analyst Jason McCarthy.

RP-G28 is an orally administered sugar polymer that induces alterations of the gut microbiome via increasing populations of lactose-metabolizing bacteria. The Phase 2b/3 study is also evaluating changes to each patient's microbiome.

Mr. McCarthy said Ritter has announced a new collaboration with the University of British Columbia to study the role of the gut microbiome and RP-G28 in environmental enteropathy (EE).

EE is a subclinical condition of the gut, meaning there are few acute symptoms, he said, adding that chronic sub-acute infections in the gut alter the microbiome and, as a result, there are problems with absorbing nutrients. EE may result in malnutrition and stunted growth, and remains a significant worldwide health issue.

Mr. McCarthy said RP-G28 has demonstrated beneficial alterations of the gut microbiome for a variety of digestive disorders. “We believe that RP-G28's ability to induce beneficial changes in the microbiome could have potential beyond lactose intolerance,” he added.