ARCUS® is an innovative technology platform that transforms medicines into light, dry powders. These powders are designed to deliver high doses of medication through an inhalation device that is activated by a patient’s own breath.

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 more medicine to travel deep into the lungs. For more on ARCUS, view our fact sheet here.

We currently have one FDA-approved therapy that uses the ARCUS technology.

The ARCUS technology has the potential to be used to develop additional inhaled medicines for both systemic and pulmonary conditions.

Migraines are painful headaches that may be accompanied by nausea, vomiting or sensitivity to light. An estimated 36 million people in the US, and over 40 million people in Europe, suffer from migraines. Results of an initial PK study of an inhaled zolmitriptan based on ARCUS showed that maximum plasma concentrations were obtained in an average of 11 minutes, a rate comparable to that of subcutaneous injection. However, bronchospasm was seen with this formulation, necessitating the reformulation or selection of an alternative pharmaceutical agent for migraine. The Company is currently deferring further investment in this program.

We are also working with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to develop a dry powder version of lung surfactant, a treatment for neonatal respiratory distress syndrome.

Many Acorda associates have been working on ARCUS for over 20 years and research on ARCUS-based products continues at our Waltham, MA office.

ARCUS was initially developed in the lab of Robert S. Langer, Sc.D., David H. Koch Institute Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Acorda obtained global rights as part of our acquisition of Civitas Therapeutics in 2014.

ARCUS® is a trademark of Acorda Therapeutics, Inc.