The US Food and Drug Administration has granted Roche granted a second breakthrough therapy designation for its investigational anti-PDL1 cancer immunotherapy, this time in lung cancer.

The designation for the treatment, MPDL3280A, was granted for the treatment of people with PD-L1-positive (programmed death-ligand 1) non-small cell lung cancer whose disease has progressed during or after platinum-based chemotherapy (and appropriate targeted therapy for those with an EGFR mutation-positive or ALK-positive tumour). The FDA granted the first BTD for MPDL3280A in metastatic bladder cancer last year and Roche plans to initiate Phase III studies in additional tumour types this year.

Chief medical officer Sandra Horning said that “we are committed to personalised healthcare, developing medicines like MPDL3280A with companion tests that may help us identify those who may be appropriate candidates for our medicines”.