Biolex, a developer of plant-based recombinant protein development and manufacturing technology, has named Bipin Dalmia to the newly created position of vice president of business development.

Dalmia joins Biolex from Syngenta Plant Science, where he served as business unit leader for the company’s biopharmaceuticals initiative. He previously worked at Novartis and Pioneer Hi-Bred.

At Biolex, Dalmia will be charged with helping the venture-backed company add to its corporate partnerships. Biolex has four corporate collaborations, including one with Bayer, for seven human therapeutic proteins it has developed from its plant-based system.

“Bipin’s presence will allow Biolex to further accelerate its already strong momentum in corporate partnering,” said John Irick, senior VP of corporate and business development. “His appointment will also enable us to expand our on-going program to identify and acquire rights to novel Biolex proteins and to access innovative drug delivery systems and technologies.”

Biolex inserts DNA into duckweed…a tiny, leafy plant that grows on water…to replicate proteins that can treat or prevent human ailments. Biolex says its process offers a cheaper and faster alternative to current methods of replicating proteins, which involve putting DNA into mammals or microbial systems such as yeast.

Last month, the Pittsboro-based company landed $24.4 million in venture funding in a round led by Intersouth Partner of Durham and Quaker BioVentures in Philadelphia.

Biolex, which employs 42 people and is still expanding, has pulled in $33.5 million in four rounds of financing since its incorporation in 1997.