Two women in Ukraine are both more than 20 weeks pregnant using a three-parent technique for the first time to overcome infertility, New Scientist.
It is the first time the method is used to treat infertility rather than hereditary disease.
The controversial technique used is the same as that approved last year by the UK parliament – the only country in the world to legalise the procedure – although there it is allowed only to prevent parents passing hereditary diseases to their children.
Director of the Clinic of Reproductive Medicine in Kyiv Valery Zukin said that method was used to overcome embryo arrest, which happens when IVF embryos suddenly stop growing at around the two-cell stage.
“One, a girl, has now reached 26 weeks, and a boy has reached 20 weeks,” Zukin told New Scientist.
He says his team is due to present their preliminary results at the American Reproductive Technology Congress in New York later this week.
Zukin said the procedure was first approved by an ethical committee and a review board at the Ukrainian Association of Reproductive Medicine.
Early DNA tests – including some conducted by an independent laboratory in Germany – have shown that the two babies are genetically healthy, he said.
Zukin is also waiting before repeating the procedure. “Some patients are awaiting similar embryo transfers, but we would like to be sure first that the babies are born healthy,” he said.