NovaQuest, the venture capital and strategic partnering arm of Quintiles Transnational, doubled the number of investments it made in 2006 from 2005.

NovaQuest participated in 16 deals ranging from $1 million to $5 million. The investments helped generate $342 million in all for the targeted firms. NovaQuest made eight deals in 2005.

The investments focused on emerging biotech and pharmaceutical firms. NovaQuest did not disclose the companies that received funds.

In addition to money, NovaQuest provides strategic development, marketing services, product development and commercialization.

"Three things are driving the active global biotech market that we’re participating in," said C.G. "Chip" Gillooly, global vice president of NovaQuest’s eBio unit. "First, biotech’s continued progress in developing promising new medicines. Second, private capital markets continue to value these companies more favorably than the global public equities markets, thereby altering investor exit strategies. Third, the value NovaQuest brings — the experience and intellectual capital necessary to advance experimental programs, non-dilutive financing, alternatives to premature out-licensing and access to Quintiles’ global development and commercialization resources.”

Since being formed in 2000, NovaQuest has been involved in deals worth more than $1.6 billion.

Privately held Quintiles employs more than 16,000 people in 50 countries.