Dornase alfa

Dornase alfa
Clinical data
Trade names Pulmozyme
AHFS/ Monograph
MedlinePlus a694002
  • US: B (No risk in non-human studies)
Routes of
ATC code R05CB13 (WHO)
Legal status
Legal status
CAS Number 143831-71-4 N
DrugBank DB00003 YesY
ChemSpider none
ECHA InfoCard 100.029.685
Chemical and physical data
Formula C1321H1999N339O396S9
Molar mass 29253.9 g/mol
 NYesY (what is this?)  (verify)
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

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 fibrosis.

Dornase alfa is an orphan drug.[1]



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

Off label use

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 2080511Freely accessible. 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 1269442Freely accessible. PMID 16137347.
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