Researchers at Columbia University in New York say they “have created embryos” for four patients and are ready to implant them. However, “they face a legal impasse”. The law prohibits the FDA from examining “any application for human research involving a human embryo intentionally created or modified to include a heritable genetic modification”. In 2015, John Zhang, a New York-based “fertility specialist”, travelled to Mexico to bypass American law and deliver the first “three-parent baby” (see Three-parent IVF: John Zhang singled out by the FDA ; Three-parent IVF: a birth, uncertainty but no long-term follow-up).
Dietrich Egli, who led the research at Columbia University (see Genetically modified human embryos in the United States), as well as Shouhkrat Mitalipov, another American scientist interested in three-parent IVF, initiated a series of meetings to develop recommendations to “persuade U.S. lawmakers to lift the ban on three-parent IVF”.
According to Marcy Darnovsky, attorney and Director of the Center for Genetics and Society, allowing three-parent IVF would be a breach of the standards regarding the genetic modification of embryos and germ cells using CRISPR.
For the time being, the three-parent embryos have been frozen.
STAT, Emily Mullin (18/04/2019)