(NVS) - Get Novartis AG Sponsored ADR Report

, the Swiss drugmaker, is in talks to buy certain operations from Ireland's



, according to a report from London's

Sunday Times


The sale would include biotechnology company Elan's flagship multiple sclerosis treatment Tysabri and its Alzheimer's disease pipeline, the newspaper said.

A "well-placed source" confirmed the talks but added that the "complexity of the deal made a decision some way off," the

Sunday Times


Strategic talks reportedly were held in May between

TheStreet Recommends

Bristol-Myers Squibb

(BMY) - Get Bristol-Myers Squibb Company Report

and Elan, but they broke down in the early stages.

Elan markets Tysabri with

Biogen Idec

(BIIB) - Get Biogen Inc. Report

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




Back in January, Elan hired


as an adviser to review alternatives, including a minority investment, an alliance, or a merger or sale of the company.