- Ritter Pharmaceuticals - http://www.ritterpharmaceuticals.com -

Leadership Team

Leadership Team

Ritter Pharma has recruited and assembled an outstanding team of talented and experienced individuals with extensive big pharma & biotech experience.

Andrew J. Ritter
Co-Founder & Chief Executive Officer

Mr. Ritter co-founded Ritter Pharmaceuticals, Inc., upon his own personal affliction with lactose intolerance. He spearheaded the development of the company's lead compound, RP-G28, which has the potential to become the first FDA-approved treatment for lactose intolerance. The therapeutic is currently in Phase 3 clinical trials. The company was originally launched out of Ritter Naturals Sciences, a direct-to-consumer healthcare marketing company, founded by Mr. Ritter in 2004, which developed and commercialized digestive healthcare products: Lactagen®, Health Essentials™ and Better Digestion™. Mr. Ritter holds over a dozen patents with over twenty additional patents pending in the United States and other key international markets. In addition, Mr. Ritter has co-published articles in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Nutrition Journal, Food Technology, among others.

Since 2010, Mr. Ritter has also acted as Managing Partner of Stonehenge Partners, a private investment fund, which provides working capital and executive leadership to a variety of businesses and industries including, real estate, technology, biotechnology, entertainment and service businesses. In addition, Mr. Ritter is a guest lecturer of entrepreneurship at various business schools throughout Los Angeles, including: UCLA Anderson School of Management, USC Marshall School of Business and Pepperdine's School of Business and Management.

Mr. Ritter has been an active leader in his community, including being appointed as a Los Angeles City Commissioner to the Commission for Children, Youth and Their Families from 2000-2002 (the youngest appointed Commissioner in Los Angeles history). Mr. Ritter holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science and a minor in Business from the University of Southern California and was a member of the 2002 Pac-10 Champion baseball team. In addition, Mr. Ritter received his MBA from The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.

John W. Beck
Chief Financial Officer

Mr. Beck joins Ritter Pharmaceuticals with over 25 years of experience in leadership roles across finance, accounting and compliance, capital markets, fundraising, mergers and acquisitions and commercial operations in life sciences and high technologies companies. Before joining Ardea, Mr. Beck spent 10 years with Metabasis Therapeutics Inc., as a co-founder and chief financial officer. Prior to joining Metabasis, Mr. Beck served as finance director at Neurocrine Biosciences from 1994 to 1998 where he played an important role in that company’s IPO. Mr. Beck currently serves on the boards of advisors of August Therapeutics, Inc. in San Diego, California and Pinnacle Medical Holdings, LLC in Denver Colorado. Mr. Beck holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting from the University of Washington, Seattle as well as a degree in Theology from a Seattle-area seminary.

Ira E. Ritter
Co-Founder & Chief Strategic Officer

Mr. Ritter has extensive experience creating, building and managing diverse business enterprises. His success has been his ability to take ideas and grow major businesses. He currently serves as Chairman of Ritter Pharmaceuticals. In addition, he provides corporate management, strategic planning and financial consulting for a wide range of market segments. In the health and beauty sector, Mr. Ritter was President and Vice-Chairman of Quality King Inc, the nation’s largest wholesale distributor for health care products with $5 billion in annual revenues (ranked the 18th largest privately held company, Forbes Top 100 List). Simultaneously, he worked as President and Chairman of Rockwood, a business he developed that produced private label HBA products for major national retailers including GNC and K-Mart. In the entertainment sector he served as Chairman of ON-TV, a division of Oak Industries (NYSE Company), where he managed the television division initiating exclusive broadcasts of Los Angeles, Chicago, and New York professional baseball, basketball, and hockey games. During 1980-1985, he produced the first televised home shopping program and directed development of the largest “pay-per-view” channel system for its time. In the personal services market, Mr. Ritter grew a people-to-people business, Elite Personal Search and Lifemates personal matchmaking service, in the U.S. and Canada. In the finance field, Mr. Ritter served on the board of directors for the Martin Lawrence Art Galleries (NYSE Company). During his 20 years as a publisher, he produced monthly national consumer magazines including Playgirl and released books that included It’s OK to Say No children's series and Patti Regan Davis’ Homefront. Mr. Ritter also has a long history of public service that includes appointments by three Governors to several State of California Commissions, including eight years served as Commissioner on the California Prison Industry Authority. In 1981, Mr. Ritter was honored with the City of Hope’s Man of the Year award.

Robin Schmidt
Director, Clinical Operations

Robin Schmidt has over 23 years of experience in clinical operations strategy and execution of clinical trials in a diverse range of environments including large-scale pharmaceutical, biotechnology and contract research organizations (CRO). Before joining Ritter, Robin spent four years at Inventiv Health (now Syneos) as global project lead, overseeing a team of regional project managers for a large-scale Phase 3 global trial in immunology. She also led development and implementation of risk evaluation and mitigation plans, and drove innovation and efficiencies across multiple initiatives within the organization. From 2007-2013, Robin served as the clinical operations lead at several biotech companies, including Metabasis Therapeutics, Cerenis Therapeutics and Aastrom Biosciences, where she was responsible for development of company SOPs related to clinical conduct, and also led outsourcing strategy and project delivery for Phase I-III clinical programs across cardiovascular and endocrinology indications. From 1995-2007, Robin served in increasing roles of responsibility at Parke-Davis/Warner-Lambert (acquired by Pfizer in 2001) related to clinical study monitoring and operations management across Phase II-IV global trails in multiple therapeutic areas including CNS, diabetes, gastroenterology, oncology, women’s health, cardiovascular disease, inflammation and pain. Robin holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology from the University of Michigan as well as a Master’s Degree in Nutrition Science from the University of Michigan Rackham Graduate School.