Complementary strengths fuel research duo’s success

By Patricia Daddona
PBN Staff Writer

When Johnna A. Pezzullo and Lynne A. Haughey met in 1987, they were both nurses at the Roger Williams Medical Center in Providence. More

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Complementary strengths fuel research duo’s success

PIECING IT TOGETHER: Omega Medical Research Vice President Lynne Haughey, left, and President and CEO Johnna A. Pezzullo met in 1987 as nurses at Roger Williams Medical Center, forming their company six years later.

By Patricia Daddona
PBN Staff Writer

Posted 4/7/14

When Johnna A. Pezzullo and Lynne A. Haughey met in 1987, they were both nurses at the Roger Williams Medical Center in Providence.

As the two became friends and colleagues, Pezzullo left her hospital job in intensive care to conduct dermatology research, but discovered through the pharmaceutical industry that she could be doing the research on her own. Combining Pezzullo’s business acumen and drive with Haughey’s expertise in hands-on clinical care, the two started Omega Medical Research.

That was on Oct. 19, 1993. Now in its 21st year, the company is the largest of its type in the state, working with such pharmaceutical giants as Pfizer, GlaxoSmithKline and Merck, and international companies.

Omega conducts all stages of clinical trials for pharmaceutical, medical-device and biotechnology therapies in an outpatient setting. More than 400 research studies to date provide companies with clean, quality data and optimal recruitment and retention of testing subjects – those people with medical conditions participating in the testing, the partners said.

Pezzullo, 47, of Cranston, the president and CEO, is “the voice” of the company – and that endorsement comes from her partner, Haughey, 52, also of Cranston, who is executive vice president and chief operating officer.

Pezzullo “makes them want to work with us,” Haughey said, referring to the major pharmaceutical corporations that Pezzullo is constantly bidding to work for. “She tells a story well.”

As Pezzullo explains, the pharmaceutical companies she was working with indicated that the hospitals’ Institutional Review Boards – or oversight panels – typically take months to authorize clinical trials – that is, the testing of drugs or medical devices in humans before the product gets approval from federal agencies like the Food and Drug Administration.

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