In Vitro Fertilisation

House of Lords written question – answered on 20th October 2014.

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Photo of Lord Alton of Liverpool Lord Alton of Liverpool Crossbench

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.

Photo of Earl Howe Earl Howe The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health

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.

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