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Pioneering DNA treatment allows IVF baby to be born free from genetic disease

20 May 2015

Thanks to a radical new treatment, a British baby boy has become the first in Europe to be born free from a list of genetic disorders.

There was a high chance of Carmen Neagu passing on a muscle-weakening disease to her children, however, ground-breaking IVF treatment meant Lucas, now five months old, has been born without the genetic condition.

Carmen, 27, has seen her father suffer from muscle-weakening disease Charcot-Marie-Tooth (CMT) and vowed never to see her children suffer from the disease.

Luckily she and husband Gabriel, 31, were selected to be the first couple to receive a new treatment known as Karyomapping at a London clinic.

The specialist procedure is capable of indentifying around 200 genetic conditions in embryos including Down's Syndrome.

According to Carmen, Lucas, who was born at Southend General Hospital last December is her ''perfect'' little boy.

Lucas stood a 50-per cent chance of being passed on the genetic disease from Carmen.

The recruitment consultant, from Westcliffe, Essex, said, ''Lucas is a very happy baby. I will tell him he definitely wasn't an accident, we wanted him and we did everything to make him just as perfect as he is.

''I didn't want to have a child with CMT. I would rather have adopted or not had a child than them have this condition.''

The pioneering embryo screening treatment means Lucas would never suffer from the condition and 200 other genetic disorders.

The Karyomapping technique was pioneered by fertility doctors at the Centre for Reproductive and Genetic Health in London.

A genetics laboratory in the US had also had success with Karyomapping in January this year, the date and identity of the child had not been released.

Previous forms of pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) had been time-consuming and costly, but karyomapping took less than a fortnight of laboratory work and was able to detect over 200 disorders.

Carmen and Gabriel's treatment started in London in December 2013 and Lucas who was born just a year later on 19 December, 2014, weighed 7lb 6oz at birth.

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