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Claims for Patent: 6,966,467

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Claims for Patent: 6,966,467

Title: Valve for aerosol container
Abstract:Valve for an aerosol container for dispensing a suspension of a substance in a liquid propellant contained therein. The valve comprises a valve body (1) having at least one orifice (16) to allow a quantity of the suspension to pass from the container into the valve. The valve further comprises a ring (18) disposed around the valve body (1), the ring being positioned below the at least one orifice to reduce the volume of suspension that can be accommodated within the container below the at least one orifice when the container is orientated with the valve at the bottom, the ring having at least one portion of reduced axial thickness to provide a trough (19) around the valve body below the at least one orifice.
Inventor(s): Di Giovanni; Patrick (Le Vaudrueil, FR), Rogerson; Cheryl Vanessa (Essex, GB)
Assignee: SmithKlineBeecham Corporation (Philadelphia, PA)
Application Number:10/347,092
Patent Claims: 1. A metering valve for use in an aerosol container for dispensing an aerosol suspension having a longitudinal axis which, in a use orientation of the valve, extends in an upward-downward direction, said metering valve comprising: a hollow, longitudinally extending valve body having an inner volume, said valve body having at least one orifice to allow a quantity of the suspension from the container to pass into said inner volume; a ring extending laterally outwardly from said valve body from a position disposed below said orifice, said ring providing a trough about said vale body that extends longitudinally in the downward direction and is arranged below said orifice; a metering chamber disposed in said inner volume of said valve body; a sampling chamber disposed in said inner volume of said valve body, the entire volume of said sampling chamber being positioned above said metering chamber with said orifice in said valve body opening thereto such that the suspension passes into said sampling chamber; a valve stein mounted far axial sliding movement in said valve body between a first position and a second position, said valve stem having a transfer passage for transferring the suspension from said sampling chamber into said metering chamber and a dispensing passage disposed below said transfer passage for dispensing the suspension from said metering chamber, wherein in said first position said transfer passage places said sampling and metering chambers in fluid communication such that said metering chamber is able to be filled with a metered dose of the suspension from said sampling chamber and said dispensing passage is isolated from said metering chamber, and wherein in said second position said transfer passage is isolated from said metering chamber while said dispensing passage is placed in fluid communication with said metering chamber to dispense the metered dose of the suspension from said metering chamber.

2. The metering valve of claim 1, wherein said trough has a U-shaped longitudinal cross-section.

3. The metering valve of claim 1, wherein said ring and said valve body are integrally formed.

4. The metering valve of claim 1, wherein said orifice opens into said sampling chamber when said valve stem is in said second position.

5. The metering valve of claim 1, wherein said inner volume of said valve body is divided into an upper section and a lower section by a seal that extends laterally across said inner volume, said seal including an aperture, said metering chamber being disposed in said lower section and said sampling chamber being disposed in said upper section.

6. The metering valve of claim 5, wherein said valve stem is sealingly slidable through said aperture in said seal.

7. The metering valve of claim 5, wherein said seal forms a common boundary between said metering and sampling chambers.

8. The metering valve of claim 1, wherein said ring has an annular wall interrupted with a plurality of slots forming a plurality of vanes, wherein, upon shaking of the aerosol container, the suspension flows around said plurality of vanes to assist in dispersion of the suspension.

9. The metering valve of claim 1, wherein said orifice comprises at least one slot extending substantially axially.

10. The metering valve or claim 9, wherein said slot extends substantially the axial length of said sampling chamber.

11. The metering valve of claim 9, wherein said metering valve includes more than two slots.

12. The metering valve of claim 1, wherein said ring further includes a seat adapted to accommodate a gasket to seal the container.

13. The metering valve of claim 11, wherein said ring has an annular wall interrupted with a plurality of slots forming at least three vanes, wherein, upon shaking of the aerosol container, the suspension flows around said vanes to assist in dispersion of the suspension.

14. The metering valve of claim 1, wherein said trough includes a plurality of angularly spaced apart trough segments.

15. The metering valve of claim 14, wherein said ring includes an annular, longitudinally-arranged wall with an inner surface that faces said trough and from which project longitudinally-arranged rib portions that divide said trough into said trough segments.

16. The metering valve of claim 15, wherein said annular wall is interrupted by a plurality of angularly spaced-apart longitudinal slots, each of said slots being positioned between an adjacent pair of said ribs.

17. The metering valve of claim 1, wherein the suspension includes a medicament selected from the group consisting of analgesics, anginal preparations, antiallergics, antiinfectives, antihistamines, antiinflammatories, antitussives, diuretics, anticholinergics, hormones, xanthines, therapeutic proteins, therapeutic peptides, and combinations thereof in liquefied HFA 134a.

18. The metering valve of claim 17, wherein said medicament comprises fluticasone propionate.

19. A metering valve for use in an aerosol container for dispensing an aerosol suspension having a longitudinal axis which, in a use orientation of the valve, extends in an upward-downward direction, said metering valve comprising: a hollow, longitudinally extending valve body having an inner volume, said valve body having at least one orifice to allow a quantity of the suspension from the container to pass into said inner volume, said orifice having a lowermost edge; a ring extending laterally outwardly from said valve body from a position axially spaced from said lowermost edge of said orifice in the downward direction, said ring providing a trough about said vale body that is axially spaced from said lowermost edge of said orifice in the downward direction; a metering chamber disposed in said inner volume of said valve body; a sampling chamber disposed in said inner volume of said valve body, the entire volume of said sampling chamber being positioned above said metering chamber with said orifice in said valve body opening thereto such that the suspension passes into said sampling chamber; a valve stem mounted for axial sliding movement in said valve body between a first position and a second position, said valve stem having a transfer passage for transferring the suspension from said sampling chamber into said metering chamber and a dispensing passage disposed below said transfer passage for dispensing the suspension from said metering chamber, wherein in said first position said transfer passage places said sampling and metering chambers in fluid communication such that said metering chamber is able to be filled with a metered dose of the suspension from said sampling chamber and said dispensing passage is isolated from said metering chamber, and wherein in said second position said transfer passage is isolated from said metering chamber while said dispensing passage is placed in fluid communication with said metering chamber to dispense the metered dose of the suspension from said metering chamber.

20. The metering valve of claim 19, wherein said trough has a U-shaped longitudinal cross-section.

21. The metering valve of claim 19, wherein said ring and said valve body are integrally formed.

22. The metering valve of claim 19, wherein said orifice opens into said sampling chamber when said valve stem is in said second position.

23. The metering valve of claim 19, wherein said inner volume of said valve body is divided into an upper section and a lower section by a seal that extends laterally across said inner volume, said seal including an aperture, said metering chamber being disposed in said lower section and said sampling chamber being disposed in said upper section.

24. The metering valve of claim 23, wherein said valve stem is sealingly slidable through said aperture in said seal.

25. The metering valve of claim 23, wherein said seal forms a common boundary between said metering and sampling chambers.

26. The metering valve of claim 19, wherein said ring has an annular wall interrupted with a plurality of slots forming a plurality of vanes, wherein, upon shaking of the aerosol container, the suspension flows around said plurality of vanes to assist in dispersion of the suspension.

27. The metering valve of claim 19, wherein said orifice comprises at least one slot extending substantially axially.

28. The metering valve of claim 27, wherein said slot extends substantially the axial length of said sampling chamber.

29. The metering valve of claim 27, wherein said metering valve includes more than two slots.

30. The metering valve of claim 19, wherein said ring further includes a seat adapted to accommodate a gasket to seal the container.

31. The metering valve of claim 29, wherein said ring has an annular wall interrupted with a plurality of slots forming at least three vanes, wherein, upon shaking of the aerosol container, the suspension flows around said vanes to assist in dispersion of the suspension.

32. The metering valve of claim 19, wherein said trough includes a plurality of angularly spaced apart trough segments.

33. The metering valve of claim 32, wherein said ring includes an annular, longitudinally-arranged wall with an inner surface that faces said trough and from which project longitudinally-arranged rib portions that divide said trough into said trough segments.

34. The metering valve of claim 33, wherein said annular wall is interrupted by a plurality of angularly spaced-apart longitudinal slots, each of said slots being positioned between an adjacent pair of said ribs.

35. The metering valve of claim 19, wherein the suspension includes a medicament selected from the group consisting of analgesics, anginal preparations, antiallergics, antiinfectives, antihistamines, antiinflammatories, antitussives, diuretics, anticholinergics, hormones, xanthines, therapeutic proteins, therapeutic peptides, and combinations thereof in liquefied HFA 134a.

36. The metering valve of claim 35, wherein said medicament comprises fluticasone propionate.
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