Strategic talks were held last month between Irish drugmaker




Bristol-Myers Squibb

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, but they broke down in the early stages,


reports, citing a source familiar with the matter.

The talks were at an early stage and never got down to price, according to



It was reported over the weekend that Bristol-Myers was vying for a minority stake in Elan and could eventually take over the Irish biotech firm. The

Wall Street Journal

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reported an agreement could be reached as early as this week.



reports the source said discussions never got far enough to focus on a potential minority stake in Elan. It was unclear whether talks between Elan and Bristol-Myers might resume at a later date.

Elan markets multiple sclerosis drug Tysabri with

Biogen Idec

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. The company also is developing a high-profile experimental drug for Alzheimer's disease in partnership with



, which analysts said might have interested Bristol-Myers,



Back in January, Elan hired Citigroup as an adviser to review alternatives, including a minority investment, an alliance, or a merger or sale of the company.