Clara cell 10-kD protein (CC10) is a potent anti-inflammatory protein that is normally abundant in the respiratory tract. CC10 is deficient and oxidized in premature infants with poor clinical outcome (death or the development of bronchopulmonary dysplasia). The safety, pharmacokinetics, and anti-inflammatory activity of recombinant human CC10 (rhCC10) were evaluated in a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blinded, multicenter trial in premature infants with respiratory distress syndrome. A total of 22 infants (mean birth weight: 932 g; gestational age: 26.9 wk) received one intratracheal dose of placebo (n = 7) or 1.5 mg/kg (n = 8) or 5 mg/kg (n = 7) rhCC10 within 4 h of surfactant treatment. Pharmacokinetic analyses demonstrated that the serum half-life was 11.6 (1.5 mg/kg group) and 9.9 h (5 mg/kg group). Excess circulating CC10 was eliminated via the urine within 48 h. rhCC10-treated infants showed significant reductions in total cell count (p < 0.0002), neutrophil counts (p < 0.001), and total protein concentrations (p < 0.01) and tended to have decreased IL-6 (p < 0.07) in tracheal aspirate fluid collected over the first 3 d of life. Infants in all three groups showed comparable growth. At 36 wk postmenstrual age, five of seven infants were still hospitalized and two of seven infants were receiving oxygen in the placebo group compared with two of seven hospitalized and one of seven receiving oxygen in the 1.5-mg/kg group and four of six hospitalized and three of six receiving oxygen in the 5-mg/kg group. A single intratracheal dose of rhCC10 was well tolerated and had significant anti-inflammatory effects in the lung. Multiple doses of rhCC10 will be investigated for efficacy in reducing pulmonary inflammation and ameliorating bronchopulmonary dysplasia in future studies.