SG Biofuels Inc., a San Diego-based company developing seeds that grow a low-cost feedstock for biofuels, says it has completed $17 million in Series B financing led by health care venture firm Thomas, McNerney & Partners.

The funding round also included new investor Finistere Ventures and current investors Flint Hills Resources LLC and Life Technologies Corp.

In conjunction with the deal, SG Biofuels added new members to its board: Pratik Shah, a partner at Thomas, McNerney, and Jerry Caulder, managing director for Finistere.

SG Biofuels said it will use the proceeds to expand research and development, advance commercialization efforts and scale global operations. The company is developing elite hybrid seeds of Jatropha, a non-edible subtropical tree that’s been identified as one of the most viable feedstocks for the large-scale production of sustainable crude plant oil.

“The funding comes at a time when we’re experiencing significant commercial adoption of our hybrid Jatropha and will be instrumental as we continue to expand our global footprint,” Kirk Haney, president and CEO at SG Biofuels, said in a statement.

SG Biofuels has customers in place that will be growing a combined 250,000 acres of Jatropha using the company’s JMax hybrid seeds. This includes an agreement with Brazil’s Jetbio, which plans to deploy 75,000 acres for the production of bio jet fuel.

—Kelly Quigley