Northfield Laboratories

(NFLD)

said Wednesday that it raised $23.4 million in a direct offering of stock to a group of institutional investors.

The Evanston, Ill.-based company sold 1.95 million shares, at $12 each, in a deal that closed Wednesday. The company's stock fell 98 cents, or 7.6%, to $11.92. On May 12, the day before the financing was announced, the company's stock closed at $13.18.

Northfield is working on an experimental blood substitute called PolyHeme. It is conducting a Phase 3 trial -- the final clinical test before a drug is submitted to the Food and Drug Administration -- among trauma patients being treated by ambulance-based medical workers.