Dornase alfa

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Dornase alfa
Clinical data
Trade namesPulmozyme
  • US: B (No risk in non-human studies)
Routes of
ATC code
Legal status
Legal status
CAS Number
  • none
ECHA InfoCard100.029.685 Edit this at Wikidata
Chemical and physical data
Molar mass29253.9 g·mol−1
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A box of Pulmozyme

Dornase alfa (proprietary name Pulmozyme from Genentech) is a highly purified solution of recombinant human deoxyribonuclease I (rhDNase), an enzyme which selectively cleaves DNA. Dornase alfa hydrolyzes the DNA present in sputum/mucus of cystic fibrosis patients and reduces viscosity in the lungs, promoting improved clearance of secretions. This protein therapeutic agent is produced in Chinese hamster ovary cells.

Cystic fibrosis[edit]

Dornase alfa is the most recent therapeutic agent developed with this basic mechanism of action. Prior to the cloning of the human enzyme, bovine DNase I was on the market for many years, though its utility was limited by the inherent antigenic response to a cow protein in the lungs of patients. Other DNases, such as DNase II, have therapeutic potential as well, but no further DNases have been brought to market yet for cystic fbrosis.

Dornase alfa is an orphan drug.[1]


  • Hypersensitivity to dornase alfa
  • Hypersensitivity to Chinese hamster ovary cell products


Dornase alpha 1000 units (1 mg/ml)2.5ml (2500units) = £18.52 (GBP)

Off label use[edit]

Dornase alfa has recently been shown to improve lung function in non-cystic fibrosis pre-term infants atelectasis where other therapies have failed.[2][3]


  1. ^ Collier, Joe (1 September 1995). "Dornase-alfa and orphan drugs". The Lancet. 346 (8975): 633. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(95)91460-9.
  2. ^ Erdeve O, Uras N, Atasay B, Arsan S (2007). "Efficacy and safety of nebulized recombinant human DNase as rescue treatment for persistent atelectasis in newborns: case-series". Croat Med J. 48 (2): 234–9. PMC 2080511. PMID 17436388.
  3. ^ Hendriks T, de Hoog M, Lequin MH, Devos AS, Merkus PJ (2005). "DNase and atelectasis in non-cystic fibrosis pediatric patients". Crit Care. 9 (4): R351–6. doi:10.1186/cc3544. PMC 1269442. PMID 16137347.