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Judge Backs Vanlev Settlement

Bristol-Myers Squibb's $185 million deal was tentatively approved.
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Bristol-Myers Squibb


said Thursday that a federal judge has given tentative approval to a $185 million settlement for lawsuits relating to the experimental blood pressure drug Vanlev.

Last month, the company

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set aside a reserve to cover the expected settlement. The suits alleged the company violated federal securities laws by making favorable comments about the drug's prospects. The drug never came to market.

Under the proposed settlement, Bristol-Myers will create a settlement fund to pay claims of investors who bought the company's stock from Oct. 19, 1999, through March 20, 2002. Bristol-Myers denied any wrongdoing in reaching the settlement. The judge is expected to issue a final opinion in May.

Shares of Bristol-Myers were up 5 cents to $22.79.