It was founded in 1985 and has since been a mainly Research and Development company. Northfield's only product was PolyHeme, an oxygen-carrying blood substitute, which failed to receive Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulatory approval. On May 9, 2009, after being informed by the FDA the product's risks outweighed the benefits, the company shut down operations. During their operations, they incurred losses of about 220 million dollars. The corporation was also criticized for some design elements of its clinical trials related to the need to perform critical care and resuscitation while patients were in grave clinical conditions due to the mechanisms of injury incurred and the consequent inability of patients to provide informed consent for treatment.