Legislation to be introduced to Australian Parliament

By Leigh Dayton

4 February 2021

Not only is Alan Trounson Cartherics CEO and a leader in embryonic stem cell science, he’s also a pioneer in IVF technology. Back in 1980 the then embryologist made headlines for his participation in the birth of Australia’s first IVF baby, Candice Reed.

Thanks to this solid reputation Trounson was invited to comment on ABC Radio National Wednesday 3 February regarding the upcoming introduction to the Federal Parliament of legislation permitting the use of Mitochondrial donation, so-called ‘three parent IVF’, for the treatment of a rare genetic condition.

The condition is caused by a mutation in the mitochondria carried by an estimated 1 in 200 people. Mitochondria are the ‘powerhouses’ of cells, providing the energy required for cellular function.

In Australia, approximately one child born every week will go on to develop a severe form of mitochondrial disease. So, donation of healthy mitochondria could prevent the transmission of the mutation and the birth of children who may develop serious life-long illness.

Symptoms include developmental delays, seizures, weakness and fatigue. Muscle, brain, heart and lung function can all be severely impacted.

Listen to Alan Trounson: https://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/breakfast/03-02-21/13115648 interview begins at 2 hours, 11 minutes and 50 seconds.