Roche say cancer drug Alecensa gets breakthrough therapy designation

The logo of Swiss pharmaceutical company Roche is seen outside their headquarters in Basel, January 30, 2014. REUTERS/Ruben Sprich/File Photo

ZURICH (Reuters) - Roche said on Tuesday its lung cancer drug Alecensa (alectinib), developed by its Genentech unit, received a second breakthrough therapy designation (BTD) from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for its anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) inhibitor.

The latest BTD was granted for the treatment of adult patients with advanced ALK-positive non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) who have not received prior treatment with an ALK inhibitor, the Swiss drugmaker said in a statement.

Alecensa received its first FDA BTD in June 2013 for people with ALK-positive NSCLC whose disease progressed on treatment with crizotinib, Basel-based Roche said.

Reporting by Silke Koltrowitz