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Home Industry News UK becomes first country to approve three-parent babies

UK becomes first country to approve three-parent babies

15th December 2016

The UK has become the first country in the world to approve the use of a new technique for creating embryos that utilise genetic information from three different parents.

Following a review from an independent scientific panel, the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) has ratified the use of the mitochondrial donation process in certain specific cases.

This method is designed to prevent mitochondrial diseases from being passed on from parent to child by replacing the mother's defective mitochondria with those from a healthy donor.

Specialist IVF clinics wanting to offer the maternal spindle transfer or pronuclear transfer techniques may now apply to the HFEA for permission to do so.

Expert analysis deemed that these methods can be used cautiously for risk reduction treatments in certain cases where alternative treatments would be of little or no benefit to mothers at risk of passing mitochondrial disease on to their children.

HFEA chair Sally Cheshire said: "Today's historic decision means that parents at very high risk of having a child with a life-threatening mitochondrial disease may soon have the chance of a healthy, genetically-related child. This is life-changing for those families."

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