Our Atopic Dermatitis research specialists


Atopic Dermatitis can be a severe chronic medical condition greatly affecting a sufferer’s quality of life including the ability to find work, relationships and their mental health. For many decades there were no real advances in the treatment of the condition and the treatments that were available had significant side effects.

Optimal became involved in the development of one of the first of these new medications, Dupilumab, a biologic drug that specifically targets the cause of Atopic Dermatitis. The results we saw in some of our participants were phenomenal, truly improving their quality of life. Unsurprisingly to us, the drug is now approved by the FDA.

Read below about our experts who are passionate and determined to get results, making it possible for us to help sufferers find relief.

Dr Penny Montgomery

Dr Penny Montgomery

Dr Montgomery was the Principal Investigator on the Dupilumab trials, she has a particular interest in dermatology and has been working in clinical research for almost 10 years.

“It is a hugely rewarding area to work in, both for our team and the participants. Similarly for our clients, we now have a vast amount of specific experience in AD research and have developed a large database and close relationship to many dermatologists in Auckland.”

Dr Nick Turnbull

Dr Nick Turnbull

Dr Nick Turnbull is an Investigator and consultant Dermatologist and Dermatopathologist. He is an active referrer to Optimal, identifying patients from his practice who may be eligible for clinical trials.

“I enjoy working with the Optimal team, and being able to offer clinical trial access to my patients. Being involved in a clinical trial provides them access to potential new medications, and often relief from a lifetime of suffering. I’m drawn to be involved in research – on the cutting edge of medical advancement.”

Greenlane Medical Specialists

Greenlane Medical Specialists Group (GLMS), are a specialist organisation of over 25 medical consultants, covering 17 therapeutic areas. Our partnership with them utilises their specialist expertise to provide reliable feedback from feasibility stage, through to patient identification and recruitment, as well as specialist input for study procedures.

“Our partnership with Optimal Clinical Trials provides our medical specialists an opportunity to contribute to research, without this becoming a burden on their daily practice. We are supportive of offering trials to our patients and believe this is of benefit to both our clinicians and patients” - Dr Derek Luo, Gastroenterologist and GLMS founder.

We understand the importance of having relationships and fast access to the right medical specialists and key opinion leaders for our sponsors and CROs. These specialists have in depth knowledge of their patient population, and standard of care in the New Zealand setting.