Ever since Elan (NYSE:ELN) said in January that it was employing Citigroup (NYSE:C) to "review the Company's strategic alternatives," investors and Foolish analysts alike have been itching to figure out exactly what will come of the review.

Unfortunately our hopes that the company would offer up a hint on its first-quarter conference call were dashed by CEO Kelly Martin: "We have nothing new to report on that strategic review process on this call." Bah humbug.

The quarter itself wasn't stellar, but it wasn't all that bad, either. Sales of Elan and Biogen Idec's (NASDAQ:BIIB) multiple sclerosis drug Tysabri still aren't where they should be. Elan's share of Tysabri sales were up 48% year over year, but have slowed considerably from the growth seen before the reappearance of cases of a potentially deadly brain infection called progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML). From 2007 to 2008, for instance, Tysabri sales were up 137%. Elan and Biogen are working on ways to reaccelerate the sales growth and convince patients that the minimal risk of getting PML is worth it because Tysabri is better than Teva Pharmaceutical’s (NASDAQ:TEVA) Copaxone or Pfizer’s (NYSE:PFE) Rebif. This isn't a reality TV show; the makeover isn't going to happen overnight.

On the flip side, Elan continues to make progress with lowering expenses. Selling, general, and administrative expenses were lower year over year despite the increase in revenue. The company is still unprofitable, but that's mainly due to interest charges and research and development expenses -- a large part of which is its large phase 3 trials for Alzheimer's treatment bapineuzumab, produced in partnership with Wyeth (NYSE:WYE).

The interest charges from over $1.7 billion of long-term debt are the reason that Elan needs to figure out some kind of "strategic alternative." The most obvious choices are partnering the rights to its earlier-stage Alzheimer's drugs or selling off its drug technology business, which it unsuccessfully tried to pawn off last year. Unfortunately investors are going to have to wait a little while longer to see what the future of Elan might look like.

You can see this Foolishness right now, though:

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Fool contributor Brian Orelli, Ph.D., doesn't own shares of any company mentioned in this article. Biogen Idec is a Stock Advisor selection. Pfizer is an Inside Value recommendation. The Fool has a disclosure policy.