First women approved for three-parent babies treatment at Newcastle facility

The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority has approved two applications for women to receive three-parent babies treatment due to genetic disorders

The decision was made at an HFEA approval committee meeting in which the Newcastle Fertility Clinic, which helped pioneer the mitochondrial replacement therapy (MRT), applied to treat the two women, ITV News has reported.

The three-parent technique licence was given by the HFEA to the Newcastle facility in March 2016 and it is thought this is the first two applications approved for the treatment.

Both women are believed to carry a mutation in their genes that causes a rare condition such as myoclonic epilepsy with ragged red fibres, known as Merrf syndrome

The condition is a neurological degenerative disease and often ends in early death.

MRT will prevent the mutated gene being passed to any embryo created during IVF treatment.

A HFEA spokeswoman said: “Our Statutory Approvals Committee has considered applications from the Newcastle Fertility Centre at Life, part of Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, for the use of mitochondrial donation in treatment for two patients, both of which have been approved.”

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