HUNDREDS of women have offered to donate their eggs for research into pioneering fertility treatment which could eradicate incurable inherited diseases.
As reported in The Journal, scientists at Newcastle University have been given a £5.8m funding boost to set up a world-first centre to further their work into the technique – controversially dubbed ‘three-parent IVF’ – which allows the successful transfer of DNA between two human eggs.
It is the first time such a system has been used and the project has the potential to help prevent the transmission of serious inherited disorders known as mitochondrial diseases, which affect around one in 5,000 people the UK.
An appeal was launched to encourage North East women to donate their eggs to push forward the landmark research, and within just four days more than 600 women had offered their help.
Co-leader of the study Dr Mary Herbert, an embryologist, said she was overwhelmed at the high number of women keen to donate.
“The response we’ve had so far has been phenomenal and we didn’t expect so many women to come forward,” she said.
“We’re delighted that the research is being supported by these women as it means the egg donations will allow us to make progress with our work a lot faster.
“We’ve not yet had a chance to look at all the applications and we expect that not all will be suitable. We could be left with only 30% to 40% who are.
“As a result, we’re still urging as many women as possible to come forward to donate their eggs to progress our work.
“We would like to take this opportunity to thank all those who have already offered to donate.”