San Diego-based biotechnology company Pfenex Inc. announced it has appointed a new chief executive, Evert (Eef) Schimmelpennink.

Schimmelpennink, 45, also becomes the company's president and secretary.

He takes over the roles from Patrick Lucy, who held the posts on an interim basis. Lucy will continue in his role as chief business officer.

Pfenex, a clinical-stage company, is developing biosimilar therapeutics, versions of branded therapeutic drugs that have or are about to reach patent expiry.

Previously Schimmelpennink was CEO of another biosimilar development company, Alvotech; vice president of global injectables at Pfizer; and vice president of global generics at Hospira.

"We believe Eef's experience is ideal for driving products from development through commercialization, while also leveraging business development opportunities to unlock further value from our unique patented protein production platform," said Jason Grenfell-Gardner, Pfenex's chairman. "Furthermore, his (Schimmelpennink's) prior experiences are directly applicable to Pfenex as we seek to advance our product candidates through development and towards commercialization."

Schimmelpennink earned a master's degree in bioprocess engineering from Wageningen University in the Netherlands.