VGX Pharmaceuticals has licensed from the University of Pennsylvania a number of DNA plasmids and constructs in an effort to better compete in the “burgeoning” DNA-based vaccine and therapy field, a VGX executive said last week.
 
The agreement, announced last week, is the latest in a number of licensing and sponsored research pacts between VGX and UPenn since the company spun out of the school in 2000, and underscores how long-term relationships between universities and spin-outs can benefit both parties.

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An Australian-led team has generated a draft genome assembly of the invasive cane toad in hopes it will help in population control, the Sydney Morning Herald reports.

The New York Times reports that the US Department of Defense has implemented about half the recommendations made to improve safe handling of dangerous agents.

In PLOS this week: approach for teasing out archaic introgression in human genomes, immune transcription features in HCV infection, and more.

Stat News reports that Maryland is promoting itself to the biotech industry with a mobile billboard.