Perkin-Elmer Corp. and The Institute for Genomic Research (TIGR) have put a name, Celera Genomics Corp., to their joint venture to sequence the human genome in three years.

"It's starting to shape up," said Edward Bloch, spokesman for Norwalk, Conn.-based Perkin-Elmer. "There's been a lot of work going on behind the scenes and we'll be releasing more information over the next weeks and months."

Perkin-Elmer and genetic sequencing trailblazer Craig Venter, with Rockville, Md.-based TIGR, disclosed their plan for the genomics company in May. The new firm intends to outpace the government's 15-year, $3 billion effort to complete the sequence of the human genome by 2005. (See BioWorld Today, May 13, 1998, p. 1.)

"Some may have said it was premature [to announce forming the company], but the idea was to get the word out so we could do more talking with pharmaceutical companies," Bloch said.

The name of the new firm is derived from the word "celerity," which means "swiftness of motion, rapidity." Bloch said the name is meant to reflect the speed with which Celera will accomplish its estimated $200 million mission.

"We'll see," he said. — Randall Osborne