Strategic talks were held last month between Irish drugmaker

Elan

(ELN)

and

Bristol-Myers Squibb

(BMY) - Get Report

, but they broke down in the early stages,

Reuters

reports, citing a source familiar with the matter.

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

Reuters

.

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

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

But

Reuters

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

(BIIB) - Get Report

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

Wyeth

(WYE)

, which analysts said might have interested Bristol-Myers,

Reuters

reports.

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.