• Former US FDA Commissioner Dr Stephen Hahn joins the venture outfit Flagship Pioneering, which founded mRNA vaccine maker Moderna as the CMO of its Preemptive Medicine and Health Security initiative. Source

• ENA Respiratory issues a press release to announce that it has secured AU$32 million ($1,001,497) from Brandon Capital Partners, Minderoo Foundation, and Uniseed to develop NNA-051, an experimental nasal spray to activate innate immunity in the nose and plans to initiate a phase I trial in the coming weeks.  Source

Clinical Infectious Diseases publishes research looking at early cases of SARS-CoV-2 in the US before testing was widespread, performing antibody testing on frozen serum samples from 24,079 participants in the All of Us cohort, which enrolled adults from all 50 US states. The findings suggest that the virus could have been present weeks before it was recognized in Illinois (late December 2019),  Massachusetts and Wisconsin (late December 2019- January 2020), Pennsylvania (early February 2020) and Mississippi (early March 2020). The researchers noted that seven of the nine SARS-CoV-2 seropositive participants were Black or Hispanic/Latino/Spanish, underscoring the impact of structural discrimination against racial and ethnic minority groups on viral circulation. Source

• Dubai’s Health Authority announces that 20 percent of people testing positive for the coronavirus had already been vaccinated (most with China’s Sinopharm) – and half of them have been hospitalized. Although 64 percent of Dubai’s population is fully vaccinated and 83 percent have gotten their first shot, coronavirus cases have been increasing – a similar pattern to that seen in Bahrain, Chile, Seychelles – which also used Chinese coronavirus vaccines. Source

• AstraZeneca announces that AZD7442, a monoclonal antibody cocktail therapy developed to prevent and treat COVID-19, did not prevent infection among people who were exposed to SARS-CoV-2 in a 1,121-person phase III trial. AZD7442 is still under study in five ongoing trials for COVID-19 prevention or treatment. Source 

• French Health Minister Oliver Veran announces that the Delta variant makes up two to four percent of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the country, translating to between 50-150 daily cases, adding that “We are in the process of crushing the virus and crushing the pandemic, and we must in no way let the Indian variant get the upper hand so that it leads to another wave of the pandemic.” Source

• A detailed investigation suggests that 100,000  COVID-19 test results issued during the Kumbh festival in Haridwar, India were fake, and had been forgeries from a private agency using non-existent addresses and phone numbers; investigators believe that the problem may be far greater. Source

• One day after India’s big cities relaxed some measures to control coronavirus, crowds throng railway stations and shopping malls, triggering concerns about a third wave of infections. Source

• Russia is experiencing a surge of daily coronavirus – 14,185 cases, including 6,805 in Moscow. Source