A clinic which put patients at risk of contracting HIV and CJD through its use of stem cells classified as unfit for human use has been closed down by Dutch health bosses.
The Rotterdam-based Preventief Medisch Centrum (PMC), which charged one Midlands MS sufferer £14,000 for treatment, has been ordered to stop trading immediately by the Netherlands Health Care Inspectorate.
The company had been using stem cells provided by UK-registered company Advanced Cell Therapeutics (ACT) to treat patients with Multiple Sclerosis and other debilitating illnesses.
During an investigation into PMC, the Inspectorate concluded it had not been providing responsible care, nor could it demonstrate the origin, suitability and safety of its stem cells.
In addition, it found patients had been exposed to the risk of infection with HIV, Creutzfeldt-Jacob Disease (CJD), acute allergic reactions, rejection reactions or malignant tumours.
The clinic's closure comes a month after The Birmingham Post revealed how a Bromsgrove MS sufferer had handed over more than £14,000 for ACT's "pioneering" stem cell treatment.
Moments after undergoing the procedure abroad, 52-year-old former chartered accountant Malcolm Pear was able to walk unaided, despite having to previously rely on elbow crutches.
But less than three months later, Mr Pear's health had deteriorated.
The only contact he received from the organisation was in the form of e-mails encouraging him to pay thousands of pounds more for topup treatment.
Mr Pear said: "Everything seems a bit more depressing now in terms of finding a cure for neurological problems.
"It was a case of people finding an opportunity to make money dishonestly and that is bad."
In a letter addressed to PMC d octor Robert Trosser, Inspector of Healthcare Dr D.C. van der Plas-Huisken said the Dutch health authority had carried out an investig ation following media interest.
He said: "The notification and media coverage were reason for the Inspectorate to conduct a further and intensified investigation into the quality of care and the safety of the stem cell treatments you perform. A programme broadcast on 4 September showed that the cells, "were not intended for use in humans" according to the accompanying certificates.
"You stated during our telephone conversation that you had voluntarily stopped using cells from ACT and were now obtaining stem cells from Pakistan.
"At no time whatsoever did you show any concern about the fate of the patients you had already treated with cells from ACT or AllCells.
"For stem cell treatment you are required to demonstrate that the preparation you administer to your patients is suitable and safe for the intended purpose.
"If this care is not provided responsibly, it poses an immediate threat to patients' lives.
"You use stem cells to treat patients even though you are unable to demonstrate their origin, suitability and safety. Therefore, the serious situation regarding your centre's performance of this therapy makes it necessary for the Inspectorate to take immediate measures.
"With immediate effect you are ordered to discontinue use of stem cell treatment at your centre." The clinic will now remain closed for a week. The Inspectorate will then ask the Dutch Minister of Health, Welfare and Sport to renew the closure order.
It is also further considering whether to bring disciplinary charges against the doctors.