Battle Creek's State Senator is also a medical doctor and he's optimistic about a promising drug to fight COVID-19. Sen. John Bizon, M.D. on Friday said the drug has the potential to turn one’s own immune system on.

Bizon said the medicine labeled AVM0703, created by AVM Biotechnology in Seattle, is in trials to obtain Food and Drug Administration approval for use in our current pandemic.

“The amazing thing is that this drug is based on a generic medicine currently available that doctors are using in many of the patients currently being treated for their COVID-19 infections, especially when they are hospitalized.,” said Bizon, R-Battle Creek. “Doctors typically give this medication in very small doses over an extended period of time. To get the effect of turning on the immune system, one very large dose must be given orally or by feeding tube.”

Bizon said the generic drug, dexamethasone, is approved by the FDA for use by doctors now, even in the higher dosages required to trigger the immune system response.

Bizon first talked about the possibility during Wednesday's Joint Operation Info conference on Zoom.

“We could wait for the blessing of the federal government to approve the name brand drug for use, waiting the weeks or months for that approval. Or we could use the generic medicine now with no additional paperwork or trials,” Bizon said. “If you have family members who are very sick with the virus, please consider asking your doctors to consider this approach, or to consider using some other ‘off label’ medicines, such as hydroxychloroquine with or without azithromycin, anti-viral drugs, the polio vaccine, the measles vaccine, or immune builders like interferon.”