The HFEA has granted doctors at Newcastle Fertility Centre permission to perform mitochondrial replacement therapy on two women who are at risk of passing on mitochondrial disease to their offspring.
Robert Meadowcroft, Chief Executive at Muscular Dystrophy UK, said:
“Today is a landmark day for the 2,500 women in the UK who could benefit from mitochondrial donation IVF. Success is not guaranteed but it gives hope where there has so far been none for those trying to start their own families.
“Newcastle has been a centre of excellence since we first funded Prof Sir Doug Turnbull more than ten years ago, and so there couldn’t be a better place for this technique to be put into action. We look forward to welcoming the first children in the UK to be born free of mitochondrial disease.”
Dr Jeremy Farrar, Director of the Wellcome Trust, said:
“Mitochondrial donation offers affected couples in the UK the chance of having children without passing on mitochondrial disease. It is wonderful that after more than a decade of research, public consultation, scientific and legal review, the first women are now taking the next steps to being able to have this treatment and a healthy baby. Our best wishes go to families setting out on their exciting and momentous journey.”
Sarah Norcross, Director of the Progress Educational Trust, said:
‘The granting of licences to treat two women in the UK is the latest milestone in seeking to help parents avoid passing on mitochondrial disease to their children. The pace at which these treatments are being rolled out may seem slow, but this highly regulated and measured approach will ensure the highest standards of treatment and follow-up research. Options which for many years have been tantalisingly out of reach to patients are now a step closer.’
All our previous output on this subject can be seen at this weblink: http://www.sciencemediacentre.org/tag/mitochondrial-dna/