UK becomes the first country to legally offer three-parent baby treatment to prevent inherited diseases

UK becomes the first country to legally offer three-parent baby treatment to prevent inherited diseases

The controversial mitochondrial replacement therapy (MRT), also known as three-parent baby treatment, has been given the green light in the UK by the fertility regulator – making Britain the first country to approve the treatment for inherited diseases.

Board members of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) unanimously voted to allow clinics to apply for permission to help women give birth to babies with three genetic parents.

The HFEA’s decision means the first procedures for this treatment will go ahead next spring, and scientists at the University of Newcastle – which pioneered the technique – say they already have women lined up for the therapy.

The process will see IVF children receive a tiny amount of DNA from a third person other than their mother and father, an egg donor and the team hopes to treat up to 25 women a year with NHS funding.

Every patient will have to be considered separately before a licence allowing the therapy is issued by the HFEA.

HFEA chairwoman Sally Cheshire said: “This is a historic decision. Patients who might be in line for this treatment will be really pleased with what we’ve decided today.”

"How

The move came after an independent panel of experts cleared away remaining safety hurdles to recommend “cautious adoption” of MRT to prevent devastating inherited diseases.

Professor Sir Doug Turnbull, director of the Wellcome Centre for Mitochondrial Research at the University of Newcastle, said: “We are delighted by today’s decision as it paves the way (toward) offering mitochondrial donation as part of an NHS-funded package of care for families affected by mitochondrial DNA disease.

“Newcastle is a major referral centre for the women with mitochondrial DNA mutations in the UK and it will be hugely welcomed as it provides them (with) reproductive choice.”

More in this Section

Nobel science laureates stress urgency of addressing climate changeNobel science laureates stress urgency of addressing climate change

Russian disinformation campaign behind leak of Labour's NHS documents, Reddit saysRussian disinformation campaign behind leak of Labour's NHS documents, Reddit says

Truckers block roads as French strikes hit weekend travelTruckers block roads as French strikes hit weekend travel

Musk says faith in humanity restored as he is cleared of defaming British caverMusk says faith in humanity restored as he is cleared of defaming British caver


Lifestyle

This Christmas remember that there is no such thing as cheap food.Buy local: Use your LOAF

As we wait, eager and giddy, a collective shudder of agitated ardor ripples through the theatre, like a Late, Late Toyshow audience when they KNOW Ryan’s going to give them another €150 voucher. Suddenly, a voice booms from the stage. Everyone erupts, whooping and cheering. And that was just for the safety announcement.Everyman's outstanding Jack and the Beanstalk ticks all panto boxes

Every band needs a Bez. In fact, there’s a case to be made that every workplace in the country could do with the Happy Mondays’ vibes man. Somebody to jump up with a pair of maracas and shake up the energy when things begin to flag.Happy Mondays create cheery Tuesday in Cork gig

More From The Irish Examiner