Swiss drugmaker Novartis has acquired US rights to anti-ulcer drug Prevacid (lansoprazole) from Tap Pharmaceuticals, a joint venture between Abbott Laboratories and Takeda Pharmaceutical, for an undisclosed amount.

The terms of the deal were not revealed, except that TAP will continue to market and sell prescription Prevacid until at least 2009, when the drug loses its patent, while Novartis takes on full responsibility for what is expected to be a multi-year over-the-counter development initiative.

“Our goal is to switch Prevacid upon its patent expiration and make it one of the top five OTC products in the United States,” Novartis said in a statement.