San Diego Business Journal

Mayor Kevin Faulconer is joining San Diego civic and business leaders in a trip to Vancouver this week to strengthen trade ties in Canada.

Canada is San Diego’s second-largest foreign trading partner after Mexico, with the city exporting $920 million worth of goods to Canada in 2015.

Faulconer and 26 delegates are promoting key San Diego industries in Vancouver while establishing business relationships in the city’s clean tech economy. The delegation includes representatives from the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce, Cleantech San Diego, Cubic Transportation Systems, Qualcomm, Planck Aerospace and others.

Although the trip seems to focus on clean tech and sustainability, the trade mission announcement was made in conjunction with an announcement that a Vancouver-based biotech was expanding into San Diego.

The Canadian company, called Phoenix Molecular Designs (or PhoenixMD for short), is establishing a U.S. beachhead in San Diego to gain better access to talent.

"The expansion into San Diego will allow us to develop drugs faster,” said Sandra Dunn, CEO of PhoenixMD. “San Diego is a great place to get access to highly specialized talent and capitalize on the expertise of people who have done this before.”

The company, which is developing a breast cancer therapy, will employ six people in San Diego and is looking to expand to 15, Dunn said.