Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. said Thursday that a judge gave preliminary approval for a proposed $185 million settlement to end a class action lawsuit that alleges the drugmaker artificially inflated its stock price by making false and misleading claims about an experimental heart drug.

U.S. District Judge Stanley Chesler entered preliminary approval of a settlement for the case pending in the U.S. District Court in New Jersey, relating to the drug known as Vanlev, the company said. Vanlev was never approved.