Medical history has been made in Canada, after a woman gave birth to the first baby born using the breakthrough IVF treatment Augment.
Augment is a new fertility technique which sees doctors using pristine stem cells extracted from yet-to-be developed eggs which can make a woman’s older eggs act young again.
Unlike other types of stem cells, these cells – first used by doctors in Canada – can only form in eggs.
The baby, named Zain Rajani, was born to mum Natasha 22 days ago. The 34-year-old’s treatment involved the removal of a small sliver of her ovarian tissue, with medics at the Toronto-based clinic then removing the healthy egg stem cells.
The doctors then purified and extracted the mitochondria from Natasha’s cells, adding them to her poor-quality eggs and her husband Omar’s sperm, dramatically improving their IVF results.
In the couple’s first traditional-IVF attempt, Natasha produced 15 eggs, with four of these becoming fertilised; under the Augment treatment, Natasha produced four embryos – three of which were frozen, with the remaining one going on to become baby Zain.
According to the latest figures, three dozen women in four countries have tried this new technique, and eight of them are now pregnant; all of the women have had at least one successful cycle of IVF.
Commenting after Zain’s birth, president of the American Society of Reproductive Medicine Dr Owen Davis said, excitedly: “We could be on the cusp of something incredibly important.”