Review of scientific methods to avoid mitochondrial disease 2014

On 27 February 2014 the government launched a consultation on the draft regulations on new techniques to prevent transmission of serious mitochondrial disease which closed on the 21 May 2014. Alongside this the HFEA was asked by government to reconvene its panel of experts to review the latest evidence on the safety and efficacy of the two mitochondrial donation techniques: pro-nuclear transfer (PNT) and maternal spindle transfer (MST). The HFEA submitted a report of the panel's findings to the Department of Health on 2 June 2014.

Membership of reconvened panel:

  • Dr Andy Greenfield (Chair), Medical Research Council (MRC), Harwell and HFEA member
  • Professor Peter Braude, King’s College London
  • Dr Paul De Sousa, University of Edinburgh
  • Professor Robin Lovell-Badge, MRC National Institute for Medical Research
  • Professor Anneke Lucassen, University of Southampton and formerly Human Genetics Commission

Terms of reference

To collate and summarise the current state of expert understanding on the safety and efficacy of maternal spindle transfer and pro-nuclear transfer in order to update their report of March 2013.

Addendum to the 2014 update - Review of the safety and efficacy of polar body transfer to avoid mitochondrial disease

The HFEA was asked by the Government, in July 2014 to seek views of members of the panel on the safety and efficacy of a potential new technique for mitochondrial replacement: polar body transfer, and provide a report by October. The HFEA submitted a report of the panel’s findings to the Department of Health on 14 October 2014.

Membership of reconvened panel

  • Dr Andy Greenfield (Chair), Medical Research Council (MRC) Harwell and HFEA member
  • Professor Peter Braude, King’s College London
  • Professor Robin Lovell-Badge, MRC National Institute for Medical Research
  • Professor Caroline Ogilvie, King’s College London and Guy’s & St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust

Terms of reference

To produce a report outlining the following relating to the potential mitochondrial donation technique – polar body transfer (PBT):

  • Biology of polar bodies (e.g. explanation of what polar bodies are and the process of meiosis)
  • Whether PBT has the potential to avoid mitochondrial disease (e.g. relevant biological processes and background research)
  • Safety and efficacy of PBT (e.g. evidence from studies on human oocytes and animal models, and similarities/differences to MST and PNT).

Page last updated: 16 October 2014