February 2018: HFEA grants first patient licence for mitochondrial donation to Wellcome Centre for Mitochondrial Research in Newcastle. UK becomes the first country to legally offer the procedure to a patient.
The Lily Foundation are delighted to have been instrumental in the recent change in UK law to allow the use of a new IVF technique known as 'Mitochondrial Donation' or 'Mitochondrial Replacement Therapy'.
This technique aims to stop the transmission of some types of Mitochondrial Disease from mother to child.
In its simplest terms, the technique involves replacing the unhealthy mitochondria in a woman who carries the disease, with the healthy mitochondria from a donor woman, during the process of IVF.
The resulting baby would have all the genetic traits of the mother and father but would also have healthy mitochondria from a donor woman so would be free from disease. It could be thought of like replacing the batteries in a toy - the toy remains exactly the same, it just has the power to work properly.