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Roche said Wednesday that its experimental cancer immunotherapy directed against a target called TIGIT suffered its second consecutive setback, failing this time to slow tumor growth in a large study involving the most common type of lung cancer.

The study’s disappointing outcome is a significant blow to the Swiss pharma giant’s effort to develop the antibody treatment called tiragolumab — the most important cancer drug in its research pipeline, and a linchpin in its strategy to greatly expand the pool of patients who might benefit from treatments that work by activating the immune system to find and kill tumors.

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