First UK licence for mitochondrial donation

Researchers in Newcastle have been given the first UK licence to carry out mitochondrial donation treatment.

"Today‚Äôs decision means that affected couples in the UK who have dreamt of having a baby free of mitochondrial disease will have an option open to them for the first time," said Wellcome's Director Jeremy Farrar. 

Mitochondrial donation is an IVF technique that gives families affected by mitochondrial disease the chance of having healthy children. 

The decision marks the latest step in our ten-year campaign to support mitochondrial donation, which has included funding Professor Sir Doug Turnbull and his team at the Wellcome Trust Centre for Mitochondrial Research, who have pioneered the technique for the past decade.

"Mitochondria diseases can be devastating for families affected and this is a momentous day for patients who have tirelessly campaigned for this decision," said Doug Turnbull.

Doug and his team will now begin recruiting patients to prove the safety of the technique, so that it can be rolled out as a clinical service across the NHS. Wellcome is co-funding the study alongside NHS England and the Department of Health.

See our timeline of key events in the licensing of mitochondrial donation

Read more on the BBC website.