Google's life sciences arm Verily hired its first lobbying firm. Photo: John Minchillo / AP

Verily Life Sciences, Alphabet's biotech and health data startup, hired D.C. lobbying shop Mehlman Castagnetti Rosen & Thomas this week for various health care and data science issues, according to federal lobbying records — the first such lobbying registration for Verily. The company declined to comment.

Why it matters: Verily, by its nature of being tied to Google and Alphabet, is a highly watched health care startup still in its early stages that clearly wants to build its federal presence. It's not all smooth sailing, though. A STAT investigation from 2016 revealed many top employees have left Verily due to its "divisive" CEO Andy Conrad.

Worth noting: Robert Califf, a former FDA commissioner under President Obama, is an adviser at Verily.

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