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latest research on the safety and efficacy of mitochondrial donation therapy

A team from the Wellcome Trust Centre for Mitochondrial Donation presented results from their research into the safety of efficacy of the IVF-based technique known as mitochondrial donation.

Mitochondrial donation involves transplanting the nuclear DNA of a recently formed embryo into an embryo which contains the mitochondrial DNA of a donor woman. The technique was designed to reduce the risk of mothers passing on mitochondrial disease, which is devastating and often life-limiting, to their children. A vote in the House of Commons in February 2015 made the technique legal in the UK but the first license has not yet been issued to a clinic.

Journalists came to the SMC to hear about:

  • New safety and efficacy data
  • The latest science behind the ‘pronuclear transfer’ technique, pioneered at Newcastle
  • How this research fits into the UK’s regulatory process
  • What this means for patients hoping to use the technique to have healthy children

Roundup comments accompanied this briefing.



Professor Mary Herbert, Wellcome Trust Centre for Mitochondrial Research and Newcastle Fertility Centre, Newcastle University

Professor Doug Turnbull, Director of the Wellcome Trust Centre for Mitochondrial Research, Newcastle University

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