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Charlie Gard: US hospital offers to send experimental drug to UK

A US hospital has offered to ship an experimental drug to the UK to help treat terminally-ill Charlie Gard.

NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Centre has also offered to admit the 11-month-old if “legal hurdles” can be cleared.

Great Ormond Street hospital has said further treatment will not help.

On Wednesday Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said it would be impossible for terminally ill Charlie Gard to be transferred to another hospital.

Drug shipment

The US hospital said that it would treat the boy with an experimental drug pending approval from government regulators, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

It said it had “agreed to admit and evaluate Charlie, provided that arrangements are made to safely transfer him to our facility, legal hurdles are cleared, and we receive emergency approval from the FDA for an experimental treatment as appropriate”.

It added: “Alternatively, if approved by the FDA, we will arrange shipment of the experimental drug to Great Ormond Street Hospital and advise their medical staff on administering it if they are willing to do so.”

Charlie has mitochondrial depletion syndrome, a rare genetic condition which causes progressive muscle weakness. Doctors say he cannot see, hear, move, cry or swallow and that his life support should be switched off because there is no chance of his condition improving.

Charlie’s parents, Connie Yates and Chris Gard, raised £1.3m on a crowdfunding site to pay for experimental treatment in the US.

But they lost a legal battle with the hospital last month after judges at the European Court of Human Rights ruled further treatment would “continue to cause Charlie significant harm”.

A US specialist told judges that a “small chance” of a meaningful improvement in Charlie’s brain function would be provided by therapy.

Charlie’s parents, from Bedfont, west London, have spent the last days of their son’s life with him, after being given more time before his life-support is turned off.

Last week they said the hospital had denied them their final wish to take their son home to die.

Source: Health bbc

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