Biotechnology company MDRNA of Bothell said Thursday that its existing cash will only last through the first quarter of 2009.

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Biotechnology company MDRNA said Thursday that its existing cash will only last through the first quarter of 2009.

In a quarterly securities filing, the Bothell company said its cash position, combined with the difficulty of raising new capital amid a recent decline in valuation and a tough economic climate, raises “substantial doubt” about its ability to continue as a going concern.

The company, formerly known as Nastech Pharmaceutical, has undergone major belt-tightening since Procter & Gamble pulled the plug on a lucrative research agreement last year. It now employs about 58 full-time staff, down from 235 employees late last year.

In the third quarter, the company closed one of its Bothell facilities and seeks to terminate its lease early or find a subtenant, according to the filing.

MDRNA shares closed at 35 cents, down 15 percent. At their 52-week high, they traded at $5.92.

Ángel González: 206-515-5644 or agonzalez@seattletimes.com