TrialReach names ex-Google VC as chief innovation officer

TrialReach has named Eze Vidra as its chief innovation officer. The position is the first Vidra has taken up since Alphabet’s ($GOOG) decision to scrap Google Ventures Europe late last year left him out of work.

Vidra was one of the four partners Alphabet, then known as Google, tasked with running its $125 million European VC wing in 2014. The short life of the closely watched venture fund came to an end in December, leaving Vidra without a full-time position. Now, after weighing up his options for 7 months, Vidra has landed at TrialReach, the Financial Times reports.

TrialReach, a London, U.K.-based clinical trial software company perhaps best known for its links to Eli Lilly ($LLY), Novartis ($NVS) and Pfizer ($PFE), has handed Vidra the title of chief innovation officer.

The appointment marks the first foray into life sciences for Vidra, a man whose résumé reads like a precis of the history of the internet era. Prior to taking up the Google Ventures post in 2014, Vidra worked for four years at the search giant’s London office. Further back, Vidra spent stints at AOL, Ask and eBay.

While none of these roles involved drug development, several of them were related to search engines, experience that could prove relevant to TrialReach’s focus on matching patients to clinical trials. As importantly, TrialReach has gained an employee with deep connections to the technology and investment communities in the U.K. and beyond.

Having also persuaded CFO Keith Lovell to swap life at music discovery service Shazam for TrialReach last year, the clinical trial matching service has an emerging reputation for attracting big names from the U.K. tech scene. This is partly a reflection of TrialReach’s tech roots--CEO Pablo Graiver worked at Kayak and Kelkoo before founding the trial service--but it is also linked to nature of its work.

“Very few jobs in the tech industry actually translate to saving lives,” Vidra told the FT. “It’s a great double bottom line.”

- read the FT piece (sub. req.)

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