Trestle Biotherapeutics Announces License Agreement with Kumamoto University for Key Stem Cell Biology Technology for Regenerative Medicine

Trestle gains access to pioneering kidney stem cell biology differentiation protocols from the laboratory of Dr. Ryuichi Nishinakamura

SAN DIEGO--()--Trestle Biotherapeutics, a private company based in San Diego, today announced that it has entered into a license agreement with Kumamoto University. Under the agreement, Trestle will gain access to foundational methods for the generation of specialized kidney cell types from human pluripotent stem cells. These ground-breaking advancements were generated by pioneering stem cell and kidney developmental biologist, Professor Ryuichi Nishinakamura, Ph.D., at the Institute of Molecular Embryology and Genetics, Kumamoto University, Japan.

The suite of technologies being licensed to Trestle will enable the company to produce ureteric bud and nephron progenitor cells. These stem cell derivatives can be used to generate the functional constituents of the human kidney responsible for blood filtration and fluid balance.

“Dr. Nishinakamura is a world-renowned kidney developmental biologist and a pioneer in the fields of kidney stem cell differentiation and organoid biology. We are pleased to have the opportunity to access his seminal work and partner with Kumamoto University as we advance our R&D efforts in creating a bioengineered solution for kidney failure patients,” said Alice Chen, Ph.D., Co-Founder and CSO of Trestle.

Trestle is developing functional kidney tissue to supplement and replace lost renal function in kidney failure patients. Trestle is building these novel tissue therapeutics through the integration of stem cell biology and 3D biofabrication technologies. As of 2021, there are more than 100,000 patients waiting for a kidney transplant and more than 550,000 patients who are dependent on dialysis for survival.

"We are pleased to see that the protocols we have developed over the past 10 years by unraveling embryology are now being applied in industry,” said Dr. Nishinakamura. “We look forward to working together to create safe and functional kidneys. I believe that our partnership will be highly beneficial for both research and patients alike."

Of the agreement, Ben Shepherd, Ph.D., Co-Founder and CEO of Trestle, said, “The vision for Trestle is to build the next generation of cell therapies for patients by integrating specific technologies, ideas, and people. Our approach is to build with developmental biology as an underlying principle and adding technology created in a lab with the caliber of Dr. Nishinakamura fits our vision exactly. This is incredibly exciting for us.”

About Trestle Biotherapeutics

Trestle Biotherapeutics, Inc. is a pre-clinical stage company developing bioengineered therapies for patients living with end stage renal disease. Once implanted, these bioengineered stem cell-derived tissues will get patients off dialysis, delay their need for transplantation, and one day become replacement organs. Learn more at

About Kumamoto University

As an international university with a worldwide reputation for excellence in teaching and research, Kumamoto University has a variety of schools with numerous specialties and a number of cutting-edge research institutes. They strive to protect and develop humankind's cultural heritage, while also enhancing its capabilities to function as a center of advanced education and promote cutting-edge, creative academic research. The university’s Institute of Molecular Embryology and Genetics (IMEG) is home to Dr. Nishinakamura and his pioneering research on kidney development that is expected to one day lead to transplantable organs.


Ben Shepherd, Ph.D.


Ben Shepherd, Ph.D.