The Perkin-Elmer Corp., J. Craig Venter and The Institute for Genomic Research on Saturday announced that they have signed letters of intent for the formation of a new genomics company by PKN and Venter. The as-yet-unnamed company plans to substantially complete the sequencing of the human genome in three years.

The new company will apply DNA analysis technology being developed at PKN's Applied Biosystems Division (Foster City, Calif.) to sequencing strategies developed at TIGR. The entity will operate a genomics sequencing facility that it estimates will have a capacity greater than that of the current combined world output, with a far lower cost structure.