The Albanese Government is funding new research that could help prevent mitochondrial disease from being passed on to children by their mothers.
Monash University will receive $15 million through the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) for the mitochondrial donation pilot program, mitoHOPE.
Mitochondrial disease is debilitating and potentially fatal, with significant impacts felt by both patients and their families.
Mitochondria are the power houses of the cell, providing the body with over 90 per cent of the energy it needs to sustain life. When the mitochondria are not working properly, cells begin to die until eventually whole organ systems fail.
A key focus of the research is to determine, through a clinical trial, the safety, efficacy, and feasibility of using mitochondrial donation reproductive technology in clinical practice in Australia.
The project aims to assist women to have biological children who do not inherit the predisposition to mitochondrial disease and will help determine the best way to safely offer mitochondrial donation to Australian women with the disease.
This funding will support research and ongoing monitoring of trial participants—including any children born as a result of mitochondrial donation.
Quotes attributable to Minister Butler:
“I’m very pleased to announce $15 million in funding for a mitochondrial donation pilot program. This is a positive step for all those patients and families who campaigned for Maeve’s Law."
“Mitochondrial disease is a really challenging condition to navigate. It can be debilitating, with physical and neurological symptoms that are often not fully understood – and there is no cure."
“This funding is about increasing our understanding of the disease so we can better support women and create a brighter future for themselves and their families."
“The Albanese Government is funding Australia’s researchers to push the boundaries of current knowledge to deepen our understanding of health conditions so we can tackle the issues that challenge us the most.”