In Vitro Fertilisation

Department of Health written question – answered on 5th April 2017.

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Photo of Lord Alton of Liverpool Lord Alton of Liverpool Crossbench

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, following the award by the Licence Committee of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority of a licence to Centre 0017 to carry out pronuclear transfer between embryos to prevent transmission of serious mitochondrial disease, what safeguards Centre 0017 has put in place to ensure that early pronuclear transfer will take place during treatment at precisely the same epigenetic stage in donor and recipient embryos, given the rapid rate of DNA demethylation and the different rates of embryo development at the early pronuclear stage.

Photo of Lord O'Shaughnessy Lord O'Shaughnessy The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health, Lord in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)

The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) has advised the expert panel considered all the evidence that it believed was relevant to the safety and efficacy of mitochondrial donation techniques. The panel did not make any recommendations relating to epigenetics and so the HFEA has placed no such requirements on centres wishing to offer mitochondrial donation.

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