“A historic step forward” is how the first licence to offer mitochondrial donation has been described by the head of the British Fertility Society.
UK fertility regulator, The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Association(HFEA) revealed the decision this week and means that the Newcastle Fertility Centre at Life can use mitochondrial donation to treat patients.
What does this mean for patients?
The HFEA made the decision to allow the procedure in December and now patients will be able to apply on an individual basis to the regulator to have treatment at Newcastle.
It is thought other fertility centres will now follow suit and apply for a licence.
The first child using this technique was born in the Ukraine earlier this year.
Professor Adam Balen, chairman of the BFS said of the news: “HEFA’s decision to grant the Newcastle Fertility Centre at Life a licence to offer mitochondrial donation marks a historic step toward eradicating genetic diseases.
Scientists in Newcastle have led the way on this groundbreaking research which will help families to overcome mitochondrial disease.
“Mitochondrial DNA is only inherited from mothers and women can be at risk of passing this DNA onto their children. Preventing this transmission by using eggs donated from a healthy woman will allow women carrying the mutations to give birth to children free of the disease.”
HFEA Chairwoman Sally Cheshire said: “I can confirm today that the HFEA has approved the first application by Newcastle Fertility at Life for the use of mitochondrial donation to treat patients.
“This significant decision represents the culmination of many years hard work by researchers, clinical experts, and regulators, who collectively paved the way for Parliament to change the law in 2015 to permit the use of such techniques.
“Patients will now be able to apply individually to the HFEA to undergo mitochondrial donation treatment at Newcastle, which will be life-changing for them, as they seek to avoid passing on serious genetic diseases to future generations.”
Could this be good news for you? Can you now move forward with IVF thanks to this news? Let us know your story, email content editor, Claire Wilson, Claire@ivfbabble.com