LOS ANGELES (September 30, 2014) – Ritter Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a privately held pharmaceutical company focused on gastrointestinal disorders, announced today that Michael D. Step has been named chief executive officer, effective October 1, 2014. Mr. Step was appointed to the company’s board of directors in 2011 and will continue to serve as a director. Andrew Ritter, the company’s founder, who previously served as president and chief executive officer, will now hold the title of president while continuing as a director.
“Mike has a proven track record of success in the pharmaceutical industry and will help lead us through the next stages of our company’s development of RP-G28 for the treatment of lactose intolerance,” said Ira Ritter, chairman of the board of Ritter Pharmaceuticals. “He brings to Ritter Pharmaceuticals a valuable background in drug development, product commercialization, business development and executive management,” Mr. Ritter said.
“Having worked with Mike over the past four years, we’ve been impressed with his highly relevant experience, and are confident he will be a strong fit with our team,” commented Andrew Ritter. He added, “Because Mike has worked with gastroenterology pharmaceutical products for much of his career, he has a keen understanding of our primary area of clinical focus and the unmet medical need we are addressing.”
Mr. Step has more than 20 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry. For the past nine years, he was senior vice president of corporate development and a member of the executive committee of Santarus, Inc. until its sale to Salix Pharmaceuticals in January 2014. In this role, Mr. Step was responsible for leading the licensing activities for the company and the culmination of more than a dozen significant transactions. Prior to Santarus, Mr. Step served as vice president of corporate development and as executive director of commercial operations for Amylin Pharmaceuticals, where he led the licensing agreement with Eli Lilly and Company for Byetta® and helped plan the commercial operation structure for Symlin®. Earlier in his career, Mr. Step served in leadership roles in business development, commercial management and sales at Dura Pharmaceuticals, Hoffmann-La Roche and Syntex Laboratories.
“I am pleased to have the opportunity to work in an executive capacity with the Ritter Pharma team to advance a unique therapy for the treatment of lactose intolerance. Our patient-focused efforts have the potential to impact the lives of millions of people who suffer from the symptoms and burdens of living with this condition,” said Mr. Step. “RP-G28 is a truly unique product candidate with a strong clinical foundation, and I look forward to advancing its further development.”
Mr. Step holds a BA in political science from Vanderbilt University and an MBA from the University of Southern California.
About Ritter Pharmaceuticals
Ritter Pharmaceuticals, Inc. develops novel therapeutic products that modulate the human gut microbiome to treat inflammatory, gastrointestinal and metabolic diseases. Ritter is advancing human gut health research by exploring the metabolic capacity of gut microbiota and translating the functionality of these microbiome modulators into safe and effective applications. Ritter’s lead drug candidate, RP-G28, has the potential to become the first FDA-approved drug for lactose intolerance, a condition that affects over one billion people worldwide.