Home  »  Invest Ottawa announces Virica Biotech as next IO Accelerator graduate

Invest Ottawa announces Virica Biotech as next IO Accelerator graduate

Jul 2, 2024

July 2, 2024 – Ottawa, ON – Invest Ottawa is thrilled to announce its next graduate from the IO Accelerator, Virica Biotech. The program is designed to use a phased and milestone-based approach to help entrepreneurs grow and scale on their Venture Path. Virica Biotech, a leading innovator in viral enhancement solutions for the biopharmaceutical industry, is the 11th successful graduate from the flagship program. 

This milestone comes on the heels of significant achievements in the company’s growth trajectory, including a substantial increase in revenue, the creation of numerous high-quality jobs, and the securing of critical funding to support ongoing research and development. 

“We are thrilled to graduate from the IO Accelerator program and are incredibly proud of the progress we’ve made,” said Dr. Jean-Simon Diallo, CEO, Virica Biotech. “Our increased revenue, job creation, and success at raising capital are testaments to the hard work and dedication of our team. We are grateful for the support and resources provided by Invest Ottawa, which have been instrumental in achieving these milestones.” 

Virica Biotech was founded in 2018 and joined the IO Accelerator program in 2019. Working to realize the promise of viral medicines, Virica has pioneered Viral Sensitizers (VSE™) that remove the barriers to manufacturing effective viral medicines at scale, optimize research processes, enhance production and can bring treatments to patients more efficiently. Over the course of its participation in the program, Virica Biotech has expanded its team from three full time employees (FTEs) to more than 30 jobs in the Ottawa region. These positions span a range of specialties, including the additions of key leaders such as Beth Thompson Webb, Chief Commercial Officer, JonDavid De Jong, Vice President of Scientific Operations, and Azra Benson, Head of Global Sales.  

Since its inception, Virica Biotech has successfully raised over $20 million in financing from investments and other sources. This influx of capital has enabled the company to accelerate its research and development efforts, scale its operations, and expand its market presence globally. 

Invest Ottawa has been a pivotal partner in Virica Biotech’s journey, providing invaluable advisors, resources, and networking opportunities. The accelerator program has enabled Virica Biotech to refine its business model, enhance its strategic planning, and connect with key industry stakeholders. 

“Virica Biotech is a shining example of the incredible life sciences innovation taking place right here in Canada’s Capital,” said Megan Maltby, Senior Manager, Accelerator Programs & Investor Relations at Invest Ottawa. “I can still remember meeting the Virica team back in 2019 and I’ve been blown away by their rapid growth. Virica has been focused and strategic, has utilized advice and resources effectively, and has proactively given back to the Ottawa startup community. We are excited to see Virica Biotech continue to thrive as a Venture Path client company and make significant contributions to the biotech industry.” 

As Virica Biotech transitions into the IO ScaleUp program, the company is poised for continued success. With plans to expand its product offerings, enter new markets, and further its mission to enhance viral production processes, Virica Biotech is well-positioned to lead the industry and drive significant advancements in biopharmaceutical manufacturing. 


About Virica Biotech: 

Virica Biotech is at the forefront of developing viral enhancement solutions that optimize the production of viral vectors used in vaccines and gene therapies. Founded on pioneering research, Virica’s technology addresses the critical challenges of viral manufacturing, ensuring higher yields, greater consistency, and reduced costs for biopharmaceutical companies. 


About Invest Ottawa 

Invest Ottawa is the lead economic development agency for knowledge-based industries in Canada’s Capital Region, facilitating economic growth and job creation in Ottawa. Guided by a vision to help realize Ottawa’s full potential as a globally recognized, innovative, inclusive, and future-ready city, Invest Ottawa delivers venture development, global expansion and talent programs and services that catalyze the growth and success of entrepreneurs and firms. These include small business training, mentorship, acceleration for technology firms, foreign business and investment attraction, local business retention and expansion in targeted sectors, commercialization and marketing Ottawa’s diversified economy and high quality of life. Invest Ottawa is also the manager of Bayview Yards, Ottawa’s innovation hub and one-stop business acceleration shop, and founder and operator of Area X.O, the R&D complex for next-gen smart mobility, autonomy, and connectivity technologies. Since 2013, Invest Ottawa has supported almost 14,000 companies, contributed to the creation of more than 14,700 jobs, helped domestic companies raise $1.86 billion in capital and attracted $1.47 billion in domestic and foreign direct investment to Ottawa. www.investottawa.ca  


About IO Accelerator  

The IO Accelerator is designed to rapidly and systematically accelerate the development and commercial success of high growth technology startups. In a phased and milestone-based approach, founders push themselves over 12 to 18 months to create a scalable and globally competitive technology company. Companies receive 10 hours of advisory services per month from experts in a variety of management fields, guidance and introductions to investors, curated market research, as well as access to the IO Accelerator co-working space and startup community and Bayview Yards operated by Invest Ottawa. The IO Accelerator has seen 11 graduates since 2018: Rewind, Knak, Relogix, Rvezy, GoFor, Noibu, Growcer, Fellow, Spiderwort, Trualta, and Virica Biotech.   


About IO ScaleUp     

Designed for high-potential product-based technology firms, IO ScaleUp provides advisory services, networks and programming to help overcome three key challenges to rapid growth and market success – customers, revenue and talent. 

The platform is jointly delivered by Invest Ottawa, Communitech, and MaRs Discovery District to help scale-up firms rapidly scale revenues or teams and increase their potential of becoming $100 million companies.  Learn more about IO ScaleUp. 


Media Contact: 

Patrick Kenny 

Senior Director, Marketing and Communications 

Invest Ottawa 

Email: [email protected] 

Phone: 613-724-7160 

Invest Ottawa
Invest Ottawa, is Ottawa’s leading economic development agency for fostering the advancement of the region's globally competitive knowledge-based institutions and industries. Invest Ottawa delivers its economic development services through a unique partnership with the City of Ottawa, where the City and Invest Ottawa, through its members set the strategy and manage the programs that move Ottawa’s economy forward. Invest Ottawa is a non-profit, partnership organization that operates on an annual budget that comes from a variety of sources including: municipal, federal and provincial government; membership fees; professional development programs; and private sector contributions.

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