Celgene/PharmAkea: Celgene is making a habit out of equity/option deals. The Summit, N.J. drugmaker’s latest arrangement gives it an opportunity to buy PharmAkea Therapeutics, a small-molecule discovery company created last year to develop drugs for fibroproliferative diseases. Celgene will invest $35 million over three years, take an equity stake in PharmAkea, and hold an exclusive option to acquire it. The companies will explore three targets concerning connective tissue and the link between fibrotic disease and cancer. PharmAkea believes it can begin Phase I trials on two programs within three years; Celgene holds the option to extend the arrangement for 18 months or buy the company outright. The deal was announced simultaneously with PharmAkea’s $10 million Series A funding from Bay City Capital. It’s a now-familiar strategy for Celgene, a company that took a similar option to buy Quanticel Pharmaceuticals for $45 million after Versant Ventures incubated the company for several months in 2011. Celgene also paid $100 million for an exclusive option to acquire five-year-old epigenetics drug developer Acetylon Pharmaceuticals in July, after investing in the company’s Series B round previously. Celgene seeded PharmAkea last year, allowing it to recruit a management team that includes several executives from Amira Pharmaceuticals, sold to Bristol-Myers Squibb for $325 million upfront in 2011, and BrainCells Inc. - P.B.