ARCUS® is an innovative technology platform that transforms medicines into light, respirable dry powders. These powders are designed to deliver high doses of medication through a breath-actuated inhalation device, making them suitable for delivery of medications for both pulmonary and systemic indications.

ARCUS doesn’t change a medicine’s molecules, but rather the size and shape of the particles. ARCUS particles can be up to 10x larger than traditionally inhaled medicine particles, but have a density that is up to 90% less, resulting in a powder that is more aerodynamically efficient than other dry powders. This allows for substantially higher amounts of drug to be delivered as compared to many other pulmonary delivery systems, and accommodates both low and high drug loads.

ARCUS technology has been used to formulate a broad range of large and small molecules, including mRNA, peptides and viruses.

For more on ARCUS, view our fact sheet here.

Acorda currently has an FDA- and EU-approved therapy, INBRIJA® (levodopa inhalation powder), that is based on the ARCUS technology. See here for a technology evaluation of Inbrija and its properties for treatment of Parkinson’s disease.

Open to Third Party Business:

Acorda is seeking collaborations with companies looking to formulate their API’s into an inhalable dry powder for systemic or local drug delivery. Our proprietary ARCUS inhalers are specifically designed to deliver these powders and are clinically validated and commercial-ready.

Acorda’s in-house services utilizing the ARCUS platform include:

  • Proof of concept and full feasibility studies for development of a commercially stable dry powder inhalation combination drug product utilizing the ARCUS platform including:
    • Bench scale POC studies requiring small amounts of API
    • Pilot scale feasibility studies covering low and high dose API loadings, as well as low and high total doses
    • Complete physical, chemical and aerosol powder evaluation and characterization
    • Stability studies covering physical, chemical and aerosol testing
    • Combining dry powder with appropriate size commercial ready inhaler for the targeted delivered dose
  • Technical capabilities and equipment:
    • Spray drying technology systems including pilot scale GEA Niro PSD-1 and lab scale Buchi B-290
    • Full solid-state characterization including XRPD, DSC, TGA, DVS
    • Full analytical development characterization including UPLC, GC, CE, FTIR, KF
    • Full aerosol characterization of aerodynamic and geometric particle sizing including Anderson Cascade Impaction, Sympatec particle size analysis, emitted dose
    • Harro Höfflinger capsule filler and Blistermate packaging systems
    • Low RH handling for filling and physical characterization with T/RH controlled storage
    • Device development characterization
    • Analytical method development
    • Regulatory support of technical filings

GMP manufacturing can be conducted at our manufacturing partner, Catalent, at their Boston, MA site which is uniquely designed for manufacturing ARCUS powders (site of INBRIJA manufacturing).

ARCUS was initially developed in the lab of Robert S. Langer, Sc.D. and David Edwards, Ph.D., of Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University, respectively. Acorda obtained global rights as part of our acquisition of Civitas Therapeutics in 2014.

ARCUS and Inbrija are trademarks of Acorda Therapeutics, Inc.

Interested in discussing partnerships, licensing opportunities, or learning more about ARCUS?


283 Bear Hill Rd
Waltham, MA 02451
(781) 466-3929