Burnaby startup becomes the first in Canada to receive N95 authorization

The company's CAN95 is the only medical grade respirator manufactured in the country

Credit: Courtesy of Vitacore

The company’s CAN95 is the only medical-grade respirator manufactured in the country

It didn’t take long for Vitacore to make an impact on the world. The startup, founded early this year by some of the brains at Burnaby-based Strata Engineering, has already become the first Canadian company authorized by Health Canada to make N95 respirators.

Previously, all respirators getting the nod from the federal agency were manufactured abroad.

Vitacore, which partnered with Hamilton’s McMaster University to develop the Canadian N95 equivalent, has about 35 employees. It plans to grow to some 150 staff as production at its Burnaby facility ramps up from about 1.2 million respirators a month to roughly 10 million.

“When COVID-19 hit, we saw the need to ensure that our communities, particularly front-line workers, have a consistent high-quality supply of PPE throughout the pandemic and beyond,” Vitacore president Mikhail Moore said in a release. “Our mission and commitment is homegrown innovation that protects Canadians, allows our country to be self-sustaining and creates local jobs.”