One in 20 Australians carries at least one altered gene that could cause cystic fibrosis, SMA or Fragile X syndrome in their children.
On 8 May 2018, the Federal Government announced a $500 million pledge to the Genomics Health Futures Mission, as part of its National health and Medical Industry Growth Plan.
The first project for the Genomics Health Futures Mission is called Mackenzie’s Mission – a large scale pre-conception carrier screening trial, which will screen 10,000 couples for Fragile X, Cystic Fibrosis and Spinal Muscular Atrophy over a 10 year period.
According to a news report by the ABC medical report Sophie Scott, “The study is the first step in offering pre-pregnancy genetic screening for all prospective couples. Under the program, if couples are found to be at risk of having a child with a serious genetic condition, they will be offered financial support for IVF treatment. Under the trial the screening test will be offered to couples at no cost.”
ABC News website: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-05-09/budget-genetic-testing-initiative-is-mackenzie-casellas-legacy/9742198
Federal Government Budget Paper: https://www.budget.gov.au/2018-19/content/overview.html
We expect to have more detail about this pre-conception carrier screening trial over the coming months.
Contact us in the Fragile X Association of Australia office: 02 9907 2366