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In Vitro Fertilisation

Question for Department of Health

UIN HL1962, tabled on 6 October 2014

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the risks of clinical trials of mitochondrial replacement therapy; and what safeguards will be put in place in such trials.

Answered on

20 October 2014

The safety and efficacy of two mitochondrial donation techniques proposed for clinical use, Maternal Spindle Transfer and Pronuclear Transfer, have been the subject of three scientific reviews carried out by an Expert Panel convened by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA). The Panel reported in April 2011, March 2013 and June 2014.

Any regulations that would allow mitochondrial donation would also bring into place important safeguards through the HFEA’s licencing procedures. For a licence to be issued to a provider of mitochondrial donation they would first have to demonstrate that they could carry out the procedure safely and effectively.