Novartis in talks to buy parts of Elan

The Sunday Times said a “well-placed source” confirmed the talks but added the “complexity of the deal made a decision some way off.” Elan, a co-marketer with Biogen Idec of multiple sclerosis drug Tysabri, hired Citigroup in January to conduct a review of the business and said at the time a merger or sale of the company was possible.

It said on June 10 that it expected to conclude a strategic transaction “in the near term,” after talking over the past few months with a number of the global players in pharmaceuticals and biotechnology.

Analysts say Elan is running out of options for a strategic partnership as earlier market talk of a link-up with companies such as Pfizer or Lundbeck have failed.

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