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Claims for Patent: 6,626,870

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Claims for Patent: 6,626,870

Title: Stoppering method to maintain sterility
Abstract:A syringe assembly is provided which includes a hollow barrel that has an interior wall. The interior wall defines a chamber that retains medication. The hollow barrel also includes a distal end and a proximal end. The distal end of the hollow barrel has a passageway that is in contact with the chamber. The proximal end of the hollow barrel has an aperture. The syringe assembly also includes a primary plunger tip that is slidably positioned, in fluid tight engagement, with the interior wall. The primary plunger tip has a receptor to engage an engager of an elongated tip plunger rod. The syringe assembly also includes a secondary plunger tip that is slidably positioned, in fluid tight engagement, with the interior wall. The secondary plunger tip also has a receptor to engage an engager of a tip plunger rod. The secondary plunger tip is disposed between the primary plunger tip and the proximal end of the hollow barrel. The syringe assembly also includes a tip plunger rod, which facilitates operation of the secondary plunger tip, engaged to the secondary plunger tip. The present invention also provides a process for providing a lyophilized medication (i.e., lyophilizate) in a syringe assembly and also provides a process for reconstituting a medication in a syringe assembly.
Inventor(s): Yarborough; Cody L (Ft. Collins, CO), Duncan; Michael R. (Ft. Collins, CO), Norton; Richard L. (Ft. Collins, CO), Bawa; Rajan (Ft. Collins, CO), Madril; Dominic G. (Loveland, CO), Barrett; Christopher J. (Ft. Collins, CO)
Assignee: Artix Laboratories, Inc. (Fort Collins, CO)
Application Number:09/536,479
Patent Claims: 1. A syringe assembly comprising: a hollow barrel having an uniform interior wall defining a chamber for retaining medication, wherein the hollow barrel comprises a distal end and a proximal end, wherein the distal end of the hollow barrel has a passageway therethrough communicating with the chamber and the proximal end of the hollow barrel has an aperture therethrough; a primary plunger tip having a proximal end and a distal end slidably positioned in fluid tight engagement with the uniform interior wall wherein the proximal end of the primary plunger tip has a receptor to engage an engager on the distal end of an elongated tip plunger rod; a secondary plunger tip having a proximal end and a distal end slidably positioned in fluid tight engagement with the uniform interior wall, wherein the proximal end of the secondary plunger tip has a receptor to engage an engager on the distal end of a tip removal rod, wherein the secondary plunger tip is disposed between the primary plunger tip and the proximal end of the hollow barrel; and the tip removal rod having the engager located on the distal end of the tip removal rod, the engager being configured to engage the receptor of the secondary plunger tip to facilitate operation of the secondary plunger tip.

2. The syringe assembly of claim 1 wherein the distal end of the hollow barrel is configured to engage at least one of a discharge assembly and a sealing cap.

3. The syringe assembly of claim 2 wherein the discharge assembly includes a needle.

4. The syringe assembly of claim 1 further comprising a sealing cap positioned at the distal end of the hollow barrel, wherein the sealing cap seals the passageway from contamination.

5. The syringe assembly of claim 1, wherein the elongated tip plunger rod comprises the engager located on the distal end, the engager being configured to engage the receptor of the primary plunger tip-, to facilitate operation of the primary plunger tip.

6. The syringe assembly of claim 1 further comprising a medication disposed between the primary plunger tip and the distal end of the hollow barrel.

7. The syringe assembly of claim 6 wherein the medication is selected from lyophilized medication, powdered medication, and granular medication.

8. The syringe assembly of claim 7 wherein the lyophilized medication is leuprolide acetate.

9. The syringe assembly of claim 1 further comprising a flange extender projecting radially outward from the proximal end of the hollow barrel.

10. The syringe assembly of claim 1 wherein at least one of the primary plunger tip and the secondary plunger tip comprises a plurality of annular ribs dimensioned for sliding fluid-tight engagement with the interior wall.

11. The syringe assembly of claim 1 wherein the hollow barrel is made from material selected from glass and plastic.

12. The syringe assembly of claim 1 wherein at least one of the primary plunger tip and the secondary plunger tip is made from material selected from natural rubber, synthetic rubber and thermoplastic elastomers.

13. A process for providing a lyophilized medication in a syringe assembly, the process comprising: providing a hollow barrel having an interior wall defining a chamber for retaining a solution comprising a medication, wherein the hollow barrel comprises a distal end and a proximal end, wherein the distal end of the hollow barrel has a passageway therethrough communicating with the chamber and the proximal end of the hollow barrel has an aperture therethrough, wherein the distal end of the hollow barrel or the proximal end of the hollow barrel is sealed; placing a solution comprising the medication in the chamber; lyophilizing the solution in the chamber to provide a lyophilized medication; inserting a primary plunger tip having a proximal end and a distal end that is slidably positioned in fluid tight engagement with the interior wall, wherein the primary plunger tip has a receptor on the proximal end of the primary plunger tip to engage an engager on the distal end of an elongated tip plunger rod, wherein the primary plunger tip is disposed between the lyophilized medication and the proximal end of the hollow barrel; and inserting a secondary plunger tip having a proximal end and a distal end that is slidably positioned in fluid tight engagement with the interior wall, wherein the secondary plunger tip has a receptor on the proximal end that is engaged to an engager on the distal end of a tip removal rod, wherein the secondary plunger tip is disposed between the primary plunger tip and the proximal end of the hollow barrel, to provide a lyophilized medication in a syringe assembly.

14. The process of claim 13 wherein the distal end of the hollow barrel is configured to engage at least one of a discharge assembly and a sealing cap.

15. The process of claim 14 wherein the discharge assembly includes a needle.

16. The process of claim 13 wherein the medication is leuprolide acetate.

17. The process of claim 13 wherein at least one of the primary plunger tip and the secondary plunger tip comprises a plurality of annular ribs dimensioned for sliding fluid-tight engagement with the hollow barrel.

18. The process of claim 13 wherein the hollow barrel is made from material selected from glass and plastic.

19. The process of claim 13 wherein at least one of the primary plunger tip and the secondary plunger tip is made from material selected from natural rubber, synthetic rubber and thermoplastic elastomers.

20. The process of claim 13 wherein the medication is sterilized by filtration.

21. The process of claim 13 wherein at least one of the hollow barrel, primary plunger tip, and the secondary plunger tip is sterilized by gamma irradiation.

22. The process of claim 13 further including the step of packaging the syringe assembly containing the lyophilized medication.

23. The process of claim 22 wherein the packaging is under sterile conditions.

24. The process of claim 13 further including the step of labeling the syringe assembly containing the lyophilized medication.

25. The process of claim 13 further including the step of engaging a flange extender to the proximal end of the hollow barrel of the syringe assembly, wherein the flange extender projects radially outward from the proximal end of the hollow barrel of the syringe assembly.

26. A process for reconstituting a medication in a syringe, the process comprising: providing a syringe assembly with medication according to claim 6; removing the secondary plunger tip from the hollow barrel; placing the discharge assembly in communication with a diluent; and urging the primary plunger tip proximally and away from the distal end of the hollow barrel, thereby urging the diluent through the discharge assembly and through the distal end of the hollow barrel, thereby contacting the medication and effectively reconstituting the medication.

27. The process of claim 26 wherein the distal end of the hollow barrel is configured to engage at least one of a discharge assembly and a sealing cap.

28. The process of claim 26 wherein the discharge assembly includes a needle.

29. The process of claim 26 wherein the medication is selected from lyophilized medication, powdered medication, and granular medication.

30. The process of claim 29 wherein the lyophilized medication is leuprolide acetate.

31. The process of claim 26 wherein the urging the primary plunger tip proximally and away from the distal end of the hollow barrel is accomplished by engaging the primary plunger tip with an elongated tip plunger rod and urging the elongated tip plunger rod proximally and away from the distal end of the hollow barrel, thereby urging the diluent through the distal end of the hollow barrel and into the chamber, thereby effectively reconstituting the medication.

32. The process of claim 26 wherein at least one of the primary plunger tip and the secondary plunger tip comprises a plurality of annular ribs dimensioned for sliding fluid-tight engagement with the hollow barrel.

33. The process of claim 26 wherein the hollow barrel is made from material selected from glass and plastic.

34. The process of claim 26 wherein at least one of the primary plunger tip and the secondary plunger tip is made from material selected from natural rubber, synthetic rubber and thermoplastic elastomers.

35. The process of claim 26 wherein the medication is sterilized by filtration.

36. The process of claim 26 wherein at least one of the hollow barrel, primary plunger tip, and the secondary plunger tip is sterilized by gamma irradiation.
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