About Us

Nanospectra Biosciences is a private company founded in 2002. Nanospectra has an exclusive license from Rice University to eleven issued US patents related to nanoshells and related commercial uses of these and other nanoparticles. While there are numerous therapeutic, diagnostic, and industrial commercial applications, Nanospectra is focused on the development of AuroLase® Therapy utilizing AuroShell® Particles (also referred to as nanoshells) for the precise, particle-based thermal ablation of solid tumors. 

Nanospectra commenced formal operations in 2002 to commercialize these applications. Nanospectra has an open Investigational Device Exemption (IDE) wtih the U.S. FDA to evaluate the safety and efficacy of AuroLase Therapy for the treatment of refractory or recurrent head and neck cancers. The use of AuroLase Therapy in other cancer types is under development.

Nanoshells were developed in the laboratories of Naomi Halas, PhD, and Stanley C. Moore, Professor in Electrical and Computer Engineering and Professor of physics, chemistry, and Biomedical engineering at Rice University, in the 1990's. In collaboration with Jennifer West, PhD, and Isabel C. Cameron, Professor and Chair of Bioengineering of Rice University, a series of life science applications were envisioned which led to the formation of Nanospectra. Drs. Halas and West were named Inventors of the Year by the Texas Bar Assocation for one of their numerous patents licensed to Nanospectra.

In addition to the work of our founding scientists, other leading scientists contributed to the development of our technology and product applications.  Several of the collaborators who have made significant contributions to our success include:

Rinat Esenaliev, PhD., Professor, Director of Laboratory for Optical Sensing and Monitoring, Center for Biomedical Engineering, UTMB Cancer Center, Department of Neuroscience and Cell Biology, and Department of Anesthesiology, University of Texas Medical Branch.  Dr. Esenaliev performed pioneering work in the use of electromagnetic radiation and particle-assisted therapies for the treatment of cancer.  Nanospectra has a license to Dr. Eseanliev’s early patent in this area.

John Hazle, PhD, FAAPM, Professor, Department of Imaging Physics, Division of Diagnostic Imaging, The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center.  Dr. Hazle collaborated with our founders and performed the initial thermal profiling in vivo studies of our technology, and he has led the development of several imaged guided and feedback applications of our therapy.

We have been awarded peer-reviewed federal grants and awards exceeding $8 million to develop AuroShell particles for the diagnosis and treatment of cancer and for other diagnostic and commercial applications. Additional funding in excess of $6 million has been raised from angel investors, private investment funds, and the Texas State Emerging Technology Fund.

Company Milestones

2002: Commenced operations, license from Rice University
2003: Successful demonstration of in vivo efficacy in animals
2004: Received Advanced Technology Program award of $2 million; advanced devlopment of manufacturing
2006: Received Texas merging Technology Fund award of $1.25 illion; completed cGMP manufacturing facility
2007: Completed animal and laboratory toxicity/safety tests
2008: Received IDE and initiated human clinical trial study for use of AuroLase™ Therapy for refractory/recurrent head and neck cancer
2010 Completed 8 subjects in the head and neck clinical trial
2011 Initiated a pilot study of AuroLase™ Therapy for primary prostate cancer (Mexico)
2012 Treated final subject in prostate cancer pilot study (Mexico); trail completed Q1 2013
2012 Received IDE and initiated human clinical trial study for use of AuroLase™ Therapy for primary and/or metastatic lung tumors