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By not following the precision medicine trend for its new lung cancer drug, the Wall Street Journal writes that Bristol-Myers Squibb has outmaneuvered its rivals like Merck.

Currently, both drug companies sell immunotherapies to treat lung cancer, but Merck's is targeted to patients whose tumors express PD-L1 while Bristol-Myers' drug can be given to patients regardless of whether or not their tumors express the protein. Bristol-Myers tested their drug in a cohort that contained a range of patients to find that it benefitted patients who express PD-L1 as well as some who don't, and so it has been approved for use in a wider population.

According to the Journal, Bristol-Myers' Opdivo is now prescribed to some 60 percent of eligible patients with the remainder receiving Merck's drug, among others.

That's because many oncologists, particularly in a community setting, don't want to wait for the results of the diagnostic test for Merck's Keytruda, the Journal says.

"Right now, the majority of patients get Opdivo because not everyone gets tested," Jeffrey Crawford from Duke University School of Medicine tells the Journal.

Still, the WSJ notes that insurance companies are encouraging the use of diagnostic tests and targeted treatments to uncover patients who are most likely to respond and benefit from that treatment.