Abstract Mixed ligand Cu(II) complexes of third generation fluoroquinolone antibacterial agents moxifloxacin (MFL) and gatifloxacin (GFL) have been synthesized and characterized spectroscopically. The complexes have been found to bind DNA by intercalative mode and the DNA binding constants Kb and Ksv have been determined by absorption measurements and florescence quenching experiments respectively. The anti-proliferative and apoptosis inducing activity of the mixed ligand copper complexes against human lung carcinoma cells(A-549) was determined adopting MTT-assay, other specific staining techniques and DNA ladder. All the complexes have been shown to be cytotoxic towards A549 lung cancer cells. The complexes have been shown to bring about apoptosis of the cancerous cells.