US healthcare giant Bristol-Myers Squibb has set aside a $185 million reserve to cover any settlement of a securities class-action litigation relating to its once much-anticipated hypertension drug Vanlev (omapatrilat).

According to the firm, in the spring of 2000 plaintiffs brought lawsuits against the group and certain executives claiming violations of federal securities laws and regulations. The parties have now reached an agreement in principle on financial terms, but are still deciding on all other aspects, leaving the final settlement open.

Vanlev, a novel dual-action anti-hypertensive agent, was once tipped to become B-MS’ top-selling drug, with a peak sales tag of $3 billion and up. But a spate of weak clinical trials culminated in a US Food and Drug Administration advisory panel rejecting the drug, and so active development was terminated, slashing the company’s share-price at the time.