February 21, 2024

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Harnessing new technology to save lives

The Government is committed to preventing future children in Australia suffering from severe mitochondrial disease, a devastating genetic disorder and is calling on the public to share their views through the release of a consultation paper outlining our proposed approach. By harnessing new technologies such as mitochondrial donation, the government has the potential to change the lives of parents and their children and reduce the burden of mitochondrial disease for future generations.

Severe mitochondrial disease can have a devastating effect on families, including the premature death of children, painful debilitating and disabling suffering, long-term ill health and poor quality of life. In Australia, approximately one child each week is born with a severe form of the disease, often with a life expectancy of fewer than five years.

Mitochondrial donation provides an option for some women who carry a mitochondrial genetic defect to have a biological child free from this devastating disease. The Government recognises that the introduction of this technology in Australia is complex and it will require an appropriate regulatory framework, medical safeguards and, in the longer term, the support of state and territory governments.

For these reasons, they have sought expert advice to ensure that Australia’s approach to implementing mitochondrial donation is undertaken safely and cautiously. The government is proposing to introduce this technology through a two-stage process, which would see mitochondrial donation legalised for use in research settings and through an initial pilot clinic, before permitting it in clinical practice more broadly after success has been demonstrated over a number of years.

The Australian is committed to continuing to advance the nation’s position as a world leader in medical research and delivery, which will ultimately benefit all Australians.

What is mitochondrial donation?

Mitochondrial donation is an IVF-based assisted reproductive technology. It has the potential to prevent mitochondrial DNA disease in babies born to mothers who may otherwise pass on the disease. Learn more about what mitochondrial donation is, why it’s important, and how we propose to introduce it.

Mitochondrial donation is a new assisted reproductive technology which can help some parents to avoid transmitting mitochondrial DNA disease to their biological children. The term collectively refers to a number of specific techniques aimed at ensuring only healthy mitochondrial DNA is passed on to an embryo.

Used in conjunction with in-vitro fertilisation (IVF), mitochondrial donation techniques allow for an embryo to be produced using a material containing nuclear DNA from a man and woman and the mitochondria in an egg donated by another woman. This approach minimises the risk of transmission of the abnormal mitochondria from the mother to her child. It cannot, however, be used to cure existing mitochondrial disease or to prevent mitochondrial disease caused by mutations in the nuclear DNA.

Severe mitochondrial disease can have a devastating effect on families, including the premature death of children, painful debilitating and disabling suffering, long-term ill-health and poor quality of life. In Australia, between one in 5,000 and one in 10,000 people are likely to develop severe mitochondrial disease during their lifetime, with approximately one child per week born with a severe form of the disease.

Women who carry a mitochondrial genetic defect risk passing on severe mitochondrial disease when they have a biological child. Introducing mitochondrial donation could prevent some children from suffering from this life-threatening disease and reduce the burden of mitochondrial disease into the future.

PARTNER

Qlik’s vision is a data-literate world, where everyone can use data and analytics to improve decision-making and solve their most challenging problems. A private company, Qlik offers real-time data integration and analytics solutions, powered by Qlik Cloud, to close the gaps between data, insights and action. By transforming data into Active Intelligence, businesses can drive better decisions, improve revenue and profitability, and optimize customer relationships. Qlik serves more than 38,000 active customers in over 100 countries.

PARTNER

CTC Global Singapore, a premier end-to-end IT solutions provider, is a fully owned subsidiary of ITOCHU Techno-Solutions Corporation (CTC) and ITOCHU Corporation.

Since 1972, CTC has established itself as one of the country’s top IT solutions providers. With 50 years of experience, headed by an experienced management team and staffed by over 200 qualified IT professionals, we support organizations with integrated IT solutions expertise in Autonomous IT, Cyber Security, Digital Transformation, Enterprise Cloud Infrastructure, Workplace Modernization and Professional Services.

Well-known for our strengths in system integration and consultation, CTC Global proves to be the preferred IT outsourcing destination for organizations all over Singapore today.

PARTNER

Planview has one mission: to build the future of connected work. Our solutions enable organizations to connect the business from ideas to impact, empowering companies to accelerate the achievement of what matters most. Planview’s full spectrum of Portfolio Management and Work Management solutions creates an organizational focus on the strategic outcomes that matter and empowers teams to deliver their best work, no matter how they work. The comprehensive Planview platform and enterprise success model enables customers to deliver innovative, competitive products, services, and customer experiences. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, with locations around the world, Planview has more than 1,300 employees supporting 4,500 customers and 2.6 million users worldwide. For more information, visit www.planview.com.

SUPPORTING ORGANISATION

SIRIM is a premier industrial research and technology organisation in Malaysia, wholly-owned by the Minister​ of Finance Incorporated. With over forty years of experience and expertise, SIRIM is mandated as the machinery for research and technology development, and the national champion of quality. SIRIM has always played a major role in the development of the country’s private sector. By tapping into our expertise and knowledge base, we focus on developing new technologies and improvements in the manufacturing, technology and services sectors. We nurture Small Medium Enterprises (SME) growth with solutions for technology penetration and upgrading, making it an ideal technology partner for SMEs.

PARTNER

HashiCorp provides infrastructure automation software for multi-cloud environments, enabling enterprises to unlock a common cloud operating model to provision, secure, connect, and run any application on any infrastructure. HashiCorp tools allow organizations to deliver applications faster by helping enterprises transition from manual processes and ITIL practices to self-service automation and DevOps practices. 

PARTNER

IBM is a leading global hybrid cloud and AI, and business services provider. We help clients in more than 175 countries capitalize on insights from their data, streamline business processes, reduce costs and gain the competitive edge in their industries. Nearly 3,000 government and corporate entities in critical infrastructure areas such as financial services, telecommunications and healthcare rely on IBM’s hybrid cloud platform and Red Hat OpenShift to affect their digital transformations quickly, efficiently and securely. IBM’s breakthrough innovations in AI, quantum computing, industry-specific cloud solutions and business services deliver open and flexible options to our clients. All of this is backed by IBM’s legendary commitment to trust, transparency, responsibility, inclusivity and service.

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