Canadian biotechnology company Virica Biotech has secured a grant from the Ontario provincial government to expand its domestic vaccine manufacturing capacity.

The $790,000 funding has been provided through the government’s Ontario Together Fund (OTF), created to boost Ontario’s healthcare sector, Covid-19 response and pandemic preparedness.

Virica will use the proceeds from the grant to expand its bioprocessing facilities and increase its capacity to scale up viral medicines and vaccine production.

The expansion project aims to advance new vaccine process development lines and increase the company’s bioprocessing capacity to meet customer demand for viral medicines.

It also aims to support the preparedness of the province for future public health emergencies by developing an off-the-shelf viral enhancement kit, expected to considerably amplify vaccine production capacity.

Virica Biotech CEO Dr Jean Simon Diallo stated: “Ontario Together funding is a boost to Virica’s continued growth.

“Our product line of viral enhancers enables us to seize the massive opportunity to reduce bioprocessing bottlenecks for viral medicine manufacturers and increase manufacturing yields and quality of essential viral-based therapies and vaccines.”

The company develops viral enhancers that support the production of viral medicines, facilitating the economical deployment of developers’ products at scale.

Virica secured $400,000 in funding from Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada in 2022.

In May 2021, the company launched its first process innovation facility, along with the University of Ottawa Heart Institute and Ottawa Health Innovation Hub.