First ever three-parent IVF baby hailed as 'revolutionary'

New York fertility specialist John Zhang spearheaded the technique with a Jordanian couple at a clinic in Mexico.

Photo by: Screengrab via Youtube
Photo by: Screengrab via Youtube

An IVF procedure being carried out on September 28, 2016

A New York fertility specialist, who said he successfully carried out a "three-parent" In Vitro fertilisation (IVF) technique resulting in a baby boy, called the procedure a "revolutionary approach in human reproduction."

John Zhang, medical director of New Hope Fertility Center in New York, spearheaded the technique which is designed to help families with mitochondrial diseases passed down maternally, roughly five months ago with a Jordanian couple at a clinic in Mexico.

"This new technology, the first time in human history, a healthy live person was created by two eggs recombined with one sperm," Zhang told Reuters during a fertility conference in New York. "This has not happened in nature."

The procedure, which the US government has forbidden due to perceived risks to the mother and child uses the genetic (DNA) material from the parents and an egg donor to create an embryo.

Some stem-cell scientists say Mexico lacks the regulatory oversight and clinical expertise to carry it out safely.

Zhang said the mother of the baby has Leigh syndrome, a fatal and inherited disorder caused by mutations in mitochrondial DNA that affect the central nervous system.

Symptoms begin within a year of a child's birth and lead to death within a span of several years.

Zhang, who is scheduled to present his findings at a meeting of the American Society of Reproductive Medicine on Wednesday in Salt Lake City, Utah, said the questions were all a part of the scientific progress he thinks is being made.

Zhang said he relished seeing families who have suffered from the death of a child finally able to have a healthy child.

"I just feel that I am bringing a gift. I really think it's just a wonderful thing."