EE Provides Seed Funding For CF Gene Therapy Company

We are proud to announce that Emily’s Entourage has provided seed funding to launch Talee Bio, a novel gene therapy company focused on developing revolutionary treatments and a cure for Cystic Fibrosis (CF).

Emily and Liza at the University of Iowa with the Talee Bio team, including (from left to right) Mike Welsh, MD, Paul McCray, MD, Jane Hollingsworth, Joe Zabner, MD, and Joan Lau, PhD. Not pictured are Beverly Davidson, PhD, John Engelhardt, PhD, and Eric Yuen, MD.


The mission at Talee Bio is to change the game in Cystic Fibrosis by using “gene therapy technologies…designed to overcome the barriers that have so far prevented effective genetic treatments for cystic fibrosis,” according to their website.  

Currently, the company is advancing two gene therapy programs originating from the company’s academic founders at the University of Iowa.

Among the most exciting elements of the program is that, unlike many of the targeted therapies in market and development for CF treatment, these gene therapy approaches could go far beyond merely controlling the disease–they could cure the disease.

In addition, these gene therapies are “mutation-agnostic,” meaning they would treat everyone with CF no matter the individual’s genetic mutation.

The work reflects over 100 years of collective experience on behalf of the academic founders at the University of Iowa and Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, who are among the most preeminent researchers in the fields of CF, pathophysiology, and gene therapy.

University of Iowa Lab Space

Talee Bio represents a unique partnership between the University of Iowa, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and Philadelphia venture firm Militia Hill Ventures. The company was made possible through the seed funding, scientific connections, and impetus provided by Emily’s Entourage.

In fact, the name “Talee” reflects its origin. “Tal” comes from Emily’s Hebrew name Talia, which implies life, and “ee” comes from the Entourage that made it all possible.

The partnership is a powerful example of venture philanthropy, where a percentage of Talee product sales are returned to Emily’s Entourage to be reinvested into research and propel future breakthroughs. In a race against the clock, this venture philanthropy model can expedite advances by harnessing the power of venture capital.

Talee Bio team with the famous University of Iowa pig. University of Iowa has the world’s the only pig with CF, a critical tool for CF research and drug development.


To learn more, read the Philadelphia Business Journal’s feature on Talee here and check out the Talee website here.

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