Dornase alpha is a phosphorylated, glycosylated, recombinant, human deoxyribo- nuclease, given by nebulization, can decrease the viscosity of purulent sputum by cleaving long strands of denatured DNA that are released by degenerating neutrophils.
It acts extracellularly and does not affect living material. It improves lung function and is well tolerated. It is moderately effective in patients with cystic fibrosis.
Dornase alfa is the most recent mucolytic agent to be developed. It is prepared from an enzyme. It is a highly purified solution of recombinant human deoxyribonuclease I(rhDNase), an enzyme which selectively cleaves DNA.
It is a DNase prepared for medical use. Earlier other forms of DNase were prepared from cows but due to reactions and sensitivity in the lung tissue the cow preparation has been abandoned. This drug is also described as an orphan drug.
There use is best tested in patients with cystic fibrosis.
It is also known by the proprietary name of Pulmozyme from Genentech. It breaks the DNA present in the secretions like sputum of patients with cystic fibrosis and causes mucolysis. When the secretions are made thin it becomes easy for the body to clear them.
It is now usually manufactured from Chinese hamster ovary cells.