Celgene Corp. has spent the last six years placing large bets on small biotechs doing breakthrough science and letting its partners take the wheel. Last week, the cancer and immunology company put its chips on Forma Therapeutics Holdings LLC and protein homeostasis.

Forma will receive an undisclosed upfront payment and is eligible for up to $200 million in R&D funding to evaluate protein homeostasis targets selected by the partners, discover small molecules against those targets and conduct preclinical and Phase I testing. The deal covers multiple disease areas, with an emphasis on cancer.