Embryology

House of Lords written question – answered on 6th April 2010.

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Photo of Lord Alton of Liverpool Lord Alton of Liverpool Crossbench

To ask Her Majesty's Government why the most recent progress report for Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority licence R0145 (pertaining to an inspection on 15 May 2008) made no reference to mitochondria; why it stated on page 4 that there were no proposed licence variations; when the lay summary for licence R0145 was revised to "also study the mitochondria"; whether the centre had requested to incorporate any new activities in that licence between 15 May 2008 and 28 September 2009; and how the three lay summaries on the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority's website constitutes consolidation of project aims.

Photo of Baroness Thornton Baroness Thornton Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department of Health, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health

The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) has advised that a progress report on research project R0145 received from the licensed centre in April 2009 informed the HFEA of a change to the project's objectives: determining how mitochondrial DNA mutations segregate between blastomeres and the derivation of human embryonic stem cell lines from embryos donated by couples in which the female partner carried mitochondrial mutations. The HFEA advises that the updated objectives did not change the licensed activities of the research project, and that the project continued to meet the statutory tests for the grant of a licence.

Following receipt of a renewal application in July 2009, the lay summary for R0145 was revised to reflect the change of objective, by adding the phrase "also study the mitochondria". A consolidated lay summary is on the HFEA website at www. hfea.gov.uk

The centre did not request the incorporation of new activities to licence R0145 between 15 May 2008 and 28 September 2009.

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