M. Denis Connaghan, a veteran executive who once worked with Misys Healthcare, is the new chief executive officer at etrials Worldwide (Nasdaq: ETWC).

Connaghan replaces Chuck Piccirillo, who had served as interim CEO at the provider of electronic clinical trial management services since July. Piccirrillo will return to his previous position as etrials’ chief technology officer.

“Denis is a dynamic leader who brings a proven track record to lead etrials and build shareholder value,” said etrials board Chairman Robert Brill. “He is an accomplished team builder with a solid understanding of the intersection of healthcare and technology, the cornerstone of etrials’ integrated suite of eClinical applications.”

Connaghan’s most recent position was managing director at Marsh USA, overseeing global operations and information technology program management. He also has served as CEO at P2Plink, a medical transaction business, and at one time was CEO of Misys Transaction Services, which was part of Misys Healthcare.

Connaghan, who earned an MBA at the University of Chicago, is a native of Australia.

Earlier this week, etrials reported an increase in losses for the third quarter. Revenues dropped to $3.7 million from $4.1 million for the same quarter in 2007 and from $4 million in the second quarter this year. The company reported a loss of $6.1 million, or 56 cents a share, versus a $1.3 million loss a year ago. etrials took a $4 million charge against revenues, thus driving up the loss.

The company reported $5.2 million in contract awards spread across 14 customers for the quarter. Its backlog of business is $21 million, compared with $18.7 million a year earlier.