Trestle Biotherapeutics to commercialise 3D biofabricated tissues for kidney failure treatment


Trestle Biotherapeutics has entered into a license agreement with Harvard University (Cambridge, USA). Under the agreement, Trestle will commercialise a suite of stem cell- and 3D biofabrication-based regenerative medicine technologies developed at Harvard’s Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering, Harvard John A Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS), and Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

According to a press release, Trestle is developing functional kidney tissue to supplement and replace lost renal function in kidney failure patients. The company is building these novel tissue therapeutics through the integration of stem cell biology and 3D biofabrication technologies.

“Patients living with kidney failure have had the same two standard-of-care treatment options for more than 60 years,” said Ben Shepherd, co-founder and CEO of Trestle. “We are really excited to embark on the ambitious mission of changing that and building upon the work of the Lewis and Morizane labs towards making this a reality for those patients.”

The technology to be commercialised by Trestle not only enables the rapid fabrication of vascularised kidney tissue at scale for regenerative medicine solutions, but also paves the way for increasing tissue maturation and vascular development within stem cell-derived organoids in response to fluid flow, the release continues. These are essential components of building large, functional tissues that will one day be used to supplement, or even replace, renal function in kidney failure patients, it adds.

The core of the technology being licensed to Trestle was developed by a multidisciplinary research team in the laboratories of Jennifer Lewis and Ryuji Morizane—both of whom are members of Trestle’s scientific advisory board.

Lewis is a Wyss Core faculty member, leads the Wyss Institute’s 3D Organ Engineering Initiative, is the Hansjörg Wyss professor of Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard SEAS, and is a principal faculty member of the Harvard Stem Cell Institute. Morizane is a principal investigator at Massachusetts General Hospital, an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School, an affiliated faculty member at Harvard Stem Cell Institute, and a visiting scholar at the Wyss Institute.


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