Treatments to avoid transmission of mitochondrial disease

The Academy and partner organisations have written to Rt Hon. Andrew Lansley MP, Secretary of State for Health calling for the introduction of regulations to enable research techniques, developed to prevent the hereditary transmission of mitochondrial disease, to be used in clinical treatment.

The letter was sent to coincide with the publication of a report by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) that assessed the safety and efficacy of techniques to avoid mitochondrial disease.

Professor Sir John Bell, President, Academy of Medical Sciences, said "Translating medical research should be a major focus for biomedical research scientists and the healthcare community. Techniques to prevent the hereditary transmission of mitochondrial disease could be of significant clinical benefit. We hope the Government will act to agree the regulatory framework that will be used when the necessary preclinical data is available. This will prevent undue delay in delivering benefits to patients."

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