First healthy baby born with three parents by mum who was infertile


Fertility doctors say they have produced the world’s first ‘three-person’ baby after an infant was born with DNA from two women.

Scientists in Greece and Spain say the accomplishment made ‘medical history’ and could help infertile couples around the world.

The baby boy was born on Tuesday weighing 6lbs and both the mother, 32, and baby are said to be in good health.

Doctors believe it could give hope to infertile people around the world who have struggled to get pregnant using standard IVF (Picture: Getty)

British fertility experts have raised concerns about the ethics of the procedure, an experimental form of IVF which uses an egg from the mother, sperm from the father, and another egg from a donor woman.

The mother was a Greek woman with a history of multiple IVF failures.

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The Maternal Spindle Transfer method was developed to help families affected by deadly mitochondrial diseases which are passed down from mother to baby.

Fertility doctors believe the technology could increase the odds of IVF.

President of the Institute of Life in Athens, Dr Panagiotis Psathas, said: ‘Today, for the first time in the world, a woman’s inalienable right to become a mother with her own genetic material became a reality.

The baby has been born to a Greek mother using donated mitochondria from another woman (Picture: Getty)

‘As Greek scientists, we are very proud to announce an international innovation in assisted reproduction, and we are now in a position to make it possible for women with multiple IVF failures or rare mitochondrial genetic diseases to have a healthy child.

‘At the Institute of Life, our commitment is to continue to help even more couples facing fertility issues to have children with their own DNA, without having recourse to egg donors.’

The Greek team were working with the Spanish centre Embryotools, which has announced that 24 other women are taking part in the trial and eight embryos are ready to be implanted.

Embryotools co-founder Dr Nuno Costa-Borges added: ‘The completely successful and safe implementation of the Maternal Spindle Transfer method – for the first time in medical history – is a revolution in assisted reproduction.

‘I want to thank and congratulate the whole european team that made it possible, and especially the Institute of Life IVF Center.’

He said it will help ‘countless women to realise their dream of becoming mothers with their own genetic material’.



How does it work?

The Maternal Spindle Transfer method involves mitochondrial replacement in human oocytes – egg cells – fully preserving the genetic material of the woman who wants to reproduce.

Mitochondria – the tiny compartments inside nearly every cell of the body that convert food into useable energy – are defective in people who have mitochondrial diseases.

They have been implicated as key factors regulating female reproductive processes, so combining the mother’s DNA with a donor’s mitochondria could help prevent disease.

The patient in Greece had endured four unsuccessful cycles of IVF before taking part in the trial.

Her new baby son has a tiny amount of his genetic makeup from the woman who donated her mitochondria, because the cells carry their own DNA.

In February 2018, the doctors in Newcastle who pioneered the technology were given permission to create the UK’s first three-person babies.

The fertility regulator approved two attempts, both in families with rare mitochondrial diseases.

Some doctors in the UK argued the two applications – fertility and disease prevention – are morally very different.

Tim Child, from the University of Oxford and the medical director of The Fertility Partnership, said: ‘I’m concerned that there’s no proven need for the patient to have her genetic material removed from her eggs and transferred into the eggs of a donor.

‘The risks of the technique aren’t entirely known, though may be considered acceptable if being used to treat mitochondrial disease, but not in this situation.

‘The patient may have conceived even if a further standard IVF cycle had been used.’



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