The first baby has been born in the Ukraine using pronuclear transfer, a technique used in mitochondrial donation.
Dr Jane Stewart, Secretary of the British Fertility Society (BFS) and Consultant in Reproductive Medicine at the Newcastle Fertility Centre at Life said:
“Pronuclear Transfer for mitochondrial disease involves fertilising the mother’s egg and then transferring the nuclear DNA to the fertilised donor egg containing healthy mitochondria in a highly controlled fashion, from which the original nuclear DNA has been removed. The healthy fertilised egg is then implanted into the mother’s uterus.
“This case in the Ukraine is unrelated to the work undertaken in the UK for the treatment for couples with mitochondrial disease. There is little or no evidence to support the use of mitochondrial transfer to improve egg or embryo quality or reverse egg ageing. There is certainly not enough research evidence available to justify its use in the clinical setting for improving IVF outcomes.”
The Newcastle Fertility Centre at Life is the primary centre involved in research towards the development of safe techniques for the clinical application of mitochondrial donation.