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It's in its genes: Coriell earns North American entrepreneurship honor from IBM

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Camden-based Coriell Life Sciences, which focuses on storage, interpretation and delivery of genomic information for health care implementation, was named IBM's North American entrepreneur of the year, the company announced Thursday.

"This is an incredibly exciting distinction and a formative moment for the organization," Dr. Michael Christman, a founder of CLS and the president and CEO of the Coriell Institute for Medical Research, said in a release.

The selection qualifies CLS to advance to the global finals, where winners from the European, Latin American, and Asia Pacific regions will compete for the opportunity to be named IBM's entrepreneur of the year.

Formed as a for-profit spinoff of Coriell Institute, a nonprofit biomedical research center studying the human genome, CLS has developed a platform of proprietary services and technology designed to store, interpret and facilitate the doctor-patient exchange of genetic information.

CLS President and CEO Scott Megill said the company can have a wide-ranging impact.

"Making clinically relevant genomic data available to physicians at the point-of-care will change the entire construction of the health and medical landscapes," Megill said. "Our priority is to develop tools that will empower doctors to migrate away from a one-size-fits-all approach, and opt instead for precise and individualized treatment."

Christman agreed.

"Personalized medicine is now commonly being perceived as an attainable model for achieving more accurate and efficient health care delivery," he said.

CLS was selected as one of only six regional finalists from amongst hundreds of applicants. It was awarded the North American honor after completing an intensive circuit of informational workshops, media and mentorship sessions, and a comprehensive final presentation to a panel of industry experts, investors and venture capitalists in Silicon Valley.

The IBM program is intended to identify and support progressive startup organizations grounded in cloud, data storage and analytics; it has effectively established a network of inventive businesses as part of its ambitious Smarter Planet initiative. Past winners and participants have generated significant venture capital funding and have partnered with IBM to bring products to market.

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