Local drugmaker PharmAkea is stretching its collaboration with global biopharmaceutical firm Celgene Corp. for an additional nine months.

Celgene has committed $9 million to help fund the research, which will use PharmAkea’s drug discovery platform to develop novel therapies for fibrotic diseases.

“We have been very impressed with the progress the team at PharmAkea has made over the past 3 years,” Rupert Vessey, president of research and early development at Celgene, said in a statement. “This extension allows the company to further realize the potential of their programs and to complete some key activities.”

The collaboration between the two firms began in 2013, when Celgene committed $35 million over three years to the San Diego biotech. Celgene took an equity stake in PharmAkea and holds an exclusive option to acquire the company.

PharmAkea is currently conducting early-stage studies of a small molecule LOXL2 inhibitor, and is preparing to enter Phase 1 development with an Autotaxin inhibitor — both as investigational anti-fibrotic therapies.