Trialbee adds ex-Lundbeck CEO, Bristol-Myers exec to board

Trialbee has added a pair of biopharma heavyweights to its board of directors. Ex-Lundbeck CEO Ulf Wiinberg has taken on the chairman role at the clinical trial software startup, and is joined on the board by Bristol-Myers Squibb’s ($BMY) former SVP of medical R&D, Lars Birgerson.

The addition of board members from the upper echelons of biopharma marks a statement of intent from Trialbee, a Swedish firm that began life 6 years ago with a focus on online patient enrollment. Trialbee has since broadened its ambitions, adding EDC and retention tools to its suite while pulling in more than $8 million in fundraising to expand and globalize its operation. Adding Birgerson and Wiinberg to the board is a continuation of this strategy.

“With my background I clearly see the value Trialbee bring,” Wiinberg said in a statement. “I decided to join the board to be part of the journey from startup to global brand.”

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Birgerson was more explicit about how he can help Trialbee, explaining that he plans to tap into his “international network” to support the company. Trialbee became more explicit about its own global ambitions when it raised $5 million in a Series A round last year. Some of that cash was earmarked for Trialbee’s attempt to break into the U.S. market.

To date, the eClinical player’s most high-profile successes have come on its home continent. In 2014, Trialbee revealed AstraZeneca ($AZN) and Novo Nordisk ($NVO) had signed up to use its online patient recruitment tools. AstraZeneca secured the rights to use the tools globally, but, given the Big Pharma’s presence in Sweden, it still represented something of a local victory for Trialbee. The Novo Nordisk deal covered the use of the tools in Sweden, Norway and Denmark.

While Birgerson and Wiinberg spent periods of their lives in Scandinavia, their careers took them into the markets Trialbee is targeting and into contact with the decision-makers it wants to meet. Birgerson closed out his career in biopharma with three-year stints at Genentech in San Francisco and Bristol-Myers in New Jersey. And Wiinberg held senior positions at Wyeth in the U.S. and U.K. before returning to Scandinavia to take the reins at Lundbeck.

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