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Title:
DRUG DELIVERY DEVICE AND METHOD OF USE THEREOF
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2017/203515
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A drug delivery device comprising a housing, a heating unit mounted inside the housing, an actuator, and a mouthpiece configured for inhalation of inhalable substances from the interior of the housing. The device configured to receive a magazine comprising a plurality of drug material batches. The magazine configured to couple with the actuator for generating relative motion between the magazine and the heating unit, and activate the heating unit for producing inhalable substances from at least one batch of drug material inside the magazine

Inventors:
AZAR, Yosi (72/6 Pinto Haim Street, 48 Ofakim, 8756948, IL)
Application Number:
IL2017/050563
Publication Date:
November 30, 2017
Filing Date:
May 18, 2017
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
KOMI ORI LTD. (72 Pinto Haim Street, 48 Ofakim, 87569, IL)
International Classes:
A24F47/00; A61M11/00; A61M15/00
Domestic Patent References:
WO1994009842A11994-05-11
Foreign References:
US5649554A1997-07-22
US20140069424A12014-03-13
US20120304990A12012-12-06
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
JACOBSON, Zvi (REINHOLD COHN AND PARTNERS, P.O.Box 13239, 62 Tel Aviv, 6113102, IL)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS:

1. A drug delivery device comprising a housing, a heating unit mounted in said housing, an actuator, and a mouthpiece configured for inhalation of inhalable substances from the interior of the housing, the device configured to receive a magazine comprising a plurality of drug material batches, said magazine configured to couple with said actuator for generating relative motion between the magazine and the heating unit, and activate the heating unit for producing inhalable substances from at least on batch of drug material in said magazine.

2. The device of claim 1 wherein the actuator is configured to translate at least one drug material batch contained inside the magazine towards a combustion zone define in the housing.

3. The device of claim 1 or 2 comprising an opening configured for reversible for reversible insertion of the magazine into the device.

4. The device of any one of the preceding claims comprising a control unit configured and operable to schedule activation events of the actuator and the heating unit.

5. The device of claim 4 comprising a sensor unit configured to measure location of at least one drug material batch inside the magazine and generate data indicative thereof, and wherein the control unit is configured to control the translation of the at least one drug material batch contained inside the magazine according to the measured data.

6. The device of any one of the preceding claims wherein the magazine comprises an identifier having encoded data indicative of the drug material contain inside the magazine. 7. The device of claim 6 configured to read the encoded data of the identifier and determine based on said encoded data whether to permit use of the delivery device by the user with the magazine.

8. The device of claim 7 comprising one or more sensors configured to detect the identifier and read its encoded data.

9. The device of any one of claims 6 to 8 wherein the control unit comprises medical data of a user of the device, the control unit configured to determine whether to

5 permit use of the delivery device by the user with the magazine based on the encoded data of the identifier and the medical data of the user.

10. The device of any one of the preceding claims comprising a combustion chamber comprising the combustion zone and the heating device, and smoke/vapor collector chamber comprising the mouthpiece, and an opening communicating between

10 the combustion chamber and the collector chamber and configured to permit migration of smoke/vapors produced in the combustion zone into the collector chamber.

11. The device of claim 10 comprising a slanted partition configured to partition the internal volume of the housing into the combustion and collector chambers and form the opening communicating between them.

15 12. The device of claim 10 comprising a funnel-shaped partition configured to partition the internal volume of the housing into the combustion and collector chambers and form the opening communicating between them.

13. The device of claim 11 or 12 wherein the opening communicating between the combustion and collector chambers is configured to prevent introducing pressure

20 conditions inside the combustion chamber due to suction through the mouthpiece.

14. The device of claim 13 comprising a one-way- valve in the opening communicating between the combustion and collector chamber.

15. A method of delivering drug material to a user, comprising providing a drug delivery device having an actuator and a heating unit mounted in a combustion zone

25 thereinside, the method comprising introducing into the drug delivery device a magazine comprising a plurality of drug material batches so as to couple between said magazine and said magazine actuator for generating relative motion between the magazine and the heating unit, and scheduling at least one drug take event for activation of said actuator and said heating unit.

16. The method of claim 15 comprising reading an identifier of the magazine and determining the drug material contained inside the magazine based on the read identifier.

17. The method of claim 16 comprising preventing use of the delivery device 5 whenever determining that the magazine does not include an identifier or that the identifier of the magazine is not readable.

18. The method of claim 16 or 17 wherein the delivery device is associated with a specific user, the method comprising determining if the drug material contained inside the magazine is authorized for use by said specific user.

10 19. The method of claim 18 comprising preventing use of the delivery device whenever determining that the drug material contained inside the magazine is not authorized for use by the specific user of the delivery device.

20. A magazine for provision of a drug material, the magazine comprising a plurality of cells, each configured to contain a batch of drug material, said cells 15 structured and arranged to permit translation of at least one batch of drug material inside said magazine responsive to external actuations.

Description:
DRUG DELIVERY DEVICE AND METHOD OF USE THEREOF

TECHNOLOGICAL FIELD

The present invention is generally in the field of drug delivery. More particularly, the present application provides means for delivery of inhalable drugs.

BACKGROUND

The present invention relates to devices designed to deliver inhalable drugs to a user, particularly combustible drugs. Delivery devices for combustible drugs, such as smoking devices, are usually designed such that the generated smoke and/or vapors are inhaled directly from a combustion site of the device into a mouthpiece of the device. Such drug delivery devices don't provide proper separation between the combustible drug material and the mouthpiece, which causes undesired effects, such as migration of combustible drug material, ash, and/or other particles, into the mouthpiece, and even the inhaling of the same therethrough by the user.

Another problem of the smoking devices at present is that of enhanced burning effect caused by the user inhaling through the mouthpiece and drawing oxygen-rich air into the combustion site, which thereby accelerates the burning of the drug material disposed thereinside. This user-enhanced burning effect of the drug material is regarded as a prohibited activity for which the use of such delivery devices is not allowed in certain religious holidays, such as the 'Shabbat' and 'Yom Tov'.

Some smoking devices known from the patent literature are discussed below. US Patent No. 5,649,554 describes a lighter having a tobacco flavor heating system which includes a rotatable tobacco containing disc or spiral. This disc or spiral is registered in thermal proximity to a heating element and heated to generate tobacco flavors in response to a sensor. The disc and spiral are sized to provide a convenient number of puffs before disposal. Housings are provided for the disc and spiral to store, register and dispose the tobacco product efficiently.

US Patent No. 5,060,671 describes an article in which a flavor generating medium is electrically heated by heaters to evolve inhalable flavors such as tobacco or other components in vapor or aerosol form. The article has a plurality of charges of the flavor generating medium which are heated sequentially to provide individual puffs. The charges are located in a portion of the article detachable from a second section in which is located a power source. The heaters are connected to the power source by fingers on the first section which are received in recesses on the second section. A mouthpiece may be provided on the first section through which vapor may be inhaled.

US Patent No. 5,388,594 describes a smoking system in which a replaceable cigarette containing tobacco flavor material is electrically heated by a set of electrical heater elements contained within a lighter to evolve tobacco flavors or other components in vapor or aerosol form for delivery to a smoker. The cigarette and lighter are adapted to provide air flow patterns through the smoking system such that air flows transversely into the cigarette. Such patterns improve aerosol and flavor delivery to the smoker and reduce the condensation of residual heater-region vapor/aerosol in the smoking system.

GENERAL DESCRIPTION

The present disclosure provides configurations, and methods of use, for drug delivery devices for combustible drug materials, that provide improved control over the drug delivery process and the utilization of the device by the user. The delivery device disclosed herein is designed to permit use of predefined batches of combustible drug material, which can be limited to certain amounts of the drug material. The device can be adapted to identify the drug material introduced into the device and permit the delivery of drug material only after verifying that the drug material introduced into the device is prescribed and/or allowed for use by the user of the device.

In some embodiments the combustible drug material is provided in a form of a plurality of movable batches disposed in a securely closed magazine reversely insertable into the drug delivery device. Optionally, the magazine comprises a plurality of movable partitions configured to move the drug material batches in a controllable manner thereinside. When loaded into the delivery device, the magazine is operated by the delivery device to move one batch of drug material at a time towards a combustion zone of the device, in which a heating unit (e.g. , gas-based or electrical lighter) of the device is used to produce smoke and/or vapors therefrom, to be inhaled by the user.

Alternatively, in possible embodiments the heating device is configured to move inside the drug delivery device towards a respective batch of drug material contained inside the magazine. Accordingly, in a broad sense the drug delivery device is configured to effectuate controllable relative motion between the heating unit and a magazine containing one or more batches of drug material, so as to obtain proper heat transfer conditions between the heating unit and at least one batch of drug material contained inside the magazine. After achieving suitable proximity between the heating unit and the at leas one batch of drug material the heating unit can be activated for a predetermined time period sufficient for producing from the at least one batch of drug material inhalable substances, such as smoke and/or vapors.

In some embodiments the drug delivery device is configured to determined the time period required for the activation of the heating unit and producing the inhalable substances from the at least one batch of drug material according to the drug material contained inside the magazine. A readable identifier is incorporated in some embodiments in the magazine for allowing the drug delivery device to identify the drug material contained inside it, and/or for determining if the drug material contained inside the magazine is allowable for use by the user of the drug delivery device.

Optionally, and in some embodiments preferably, the device is configured to gradually introduce the drug material into the combustion zone to prevent it from burning too quickly at once. Thus, in some embodiments, the delivery device actuates the magazine to advance the drug material into the combustion zone in predetermined steps size, such that in each batch movement step a predetermined portion of the batch is exposed to the heat produced by the heating unit. Additionally or alternatively, the delivery device is configured to move the heating unit towards the drug material batch introduced into the combustion zone in a gradual/stepped fashion to guarantee gradual expose portions of the drug material of the batch to the heat produced therefrom.

In some embodiments the magazine can be refilled by the user via a closeable opening configured to allow the user to access its inner compartments and place thereinside the drug material (e.g. , oil and/or plant material, such as essential oils, tobacco, cannabis, and/or synthesized drugs/medications). In some other possible embodiments the magazine is designed to be filled only by authorized personals (e.g. , healthcare personals, pharmacists, and suchlike), which securely close the magazine after each fill to prevent the user from accessing and tampering with the drug material (e.g. , narcotic, stimulant, hallucinogenic depressant drugs, and/or medical cannabis) placed inside the magazine. In some embodiments the delivery device is configured to detect an identifier (e.g., encoded in a barcode, RFID, magnetic strip, near field communication (NFC) patch, or suchlike) placed on (or in) the magazine, and permit or disable using the magazine accordingly. In this way, the delivery device can be used to prevent use of the device for taking drugs not prescribed to the specific user of the device. A control unit can be used in the delivery device to read the identifier of the magazine using a suitable sensor unit, and determine if the drug material contained in the magazine is allowed for use by the user of the device. The control unit can be further used to schedule drug take events according to the magazine identifier and/or medical information of the user of the delivery device. A display unit (e.g., liquid crystal display - LCD) is used in some embodiments to display to the user the scheduled drug take events. Other audio/visual means (e.g. , speaker, LEDs, etc.) may be also used to issue indications to notify the user that a drug delivery operation is about to take place by the delivery device.

For example, and without being limiting, in some applications the delivery device is programmed to provide automated drug intakes during time periods in which certain activities required for the manual intakes are prohibited e.g. , to allow drug intake during the Shabbat or Yom-Tov. The delivery device can be programmed to operate the batch advancement mechanism and the heater a predetermined number of times scheduled for certain times, thereby allowing the user automated drug delivery and intake, without performing the prohibited activities.

In some embodiments the delivery device comprises a combustion chamber in which the heating unit is operably mounted for heating a batch of drug material of the magazine, and a smoke/vapor collector chamber (also referred to herein as collector chamber for short) comprising the mouthpiece of the device and being in fluid communication with the combustion chamber. The collector chamber comprises air inlets for introducing fresh air thereinto from the external environment, and an opening communicating between the collector chamber and the combustion chamber, and configured to prevent suction from the combustion chamber when inhaling through the mouthpiece. Optionally, and in some embodiments preferably, the opening communicating between the combustion chamber and the collector chamber comprises a valve configured to permit diffusive passage of smoke/vapors from the combustion chamber into the collector chamber, but prevent suction of smoke/vapors from the combustion chamber responsive to user inhalation through the mouthpiece i.e. , the valve configured to change into a closed stated responsive to suction by the user through the mouthpiece.

In some embodiments the mouthpiece is configured to provide open and closed states for opening and closing the passage provided therethrough to the collector chamber. Optionally, and in some embodiments preferably, one or more air vents of the delivery device are configured to change their state into an open state upon changing the state of the mouthpiece into its open state, and wise versa. In this way, whenever the air vents are closed fresh air from the external environment cannot enter into the collector chamber, and upon changing the mouthpiece into its open state the air vent open so fresh air can flow into the collector chamber. In this way, the suction by the user through the mouthpiece will cause introduction of fresh air into the device, while substantially prevent pressure conditions from evolving in the combustion zone, which thus prevent excessive heating/burn of the drug material and the conduction of activity prohibited in certain religious holidays.

Optionally, and in some embodiments preferably, the delivery device further comprises a liquid chamber located between the combustion and collector chambers, and configured to cause passage of the smoke/vapors from the combustion chamber through liquid media (such as water) contained in it, into the collector chamber. Alternatively, the liquid chamber is located inside the collector chamber. The liquid chamber is configured to cause the smoke/vapors drawn via the mouthpiece to interact with the a liquid medium contained thereinside.

Any of the preferable features described herein may be applied to any aspect of the invention.

In one aspect there is provided a drug delivery device comprising a housing, a heating unit mounted in the housing, an actuator, and a mouthpiece configured for inhalation of inhalable particles/substances from the interior of the housing. The magazine being configured to couple with the actuator upon inserting it into the delivery device, and the delivery device being configured to controllably activate the actuator to generate relative motion between the magazine and the heating unit. Upon reaching sufficient heat conductivity conditions between the heating unit and at least one batch of drug material contained inside the magazine, the heating unit is configured to heat the at least one batch of drug material and produce inhalable substances therefrom. In some embodiments the magazine contained a plurality of movable drug material batched, and the actuating device is configured for translating at least one drug material batch contained inside the magazine into the combustion zone and heating it therein by the heating device. The opening provided in the housing can be configured to controllably provide passage for insertion and removal of the magazine from the device.

In some embodiments the device comprises a control unit configured and operable to schedule activation events of the actuator and heating unit. Optionally, the device comprises a sensor unit configured to measure location of at least one drug material batch inside the magazine and generate data indicative thereof. The control unit is configured in some embodiments to control the translation of the at least one drug material batch contained inside the magazine according to the measured data.

Optionally, and in some embodiment preferably, the magazine comprises an identifier having encoded data indicative of the drug material contain inside the magazine. The device can be configured to read the encoded data of the identifier and determine based on the encoded data whether to permit use of the delivery device by the user with the magazine. The device can comprise one or more sensor elements configured to detect the identifier and read its encoded data. The control unit can have medical data of a user of the device usable for determining whether to permit use of the delivery device by the user with the magazine based on the encoded data of the identifier and the medical data of the user.

In some embodiment the device comprises a combustion chamber comprising the combustion zone and the heating device, and smoke/vapor collector chamber comprising the mouthpiece, and an opening communicating between the combustion chamber and the collector chamber and configured to permit migration of inhalable substances (smoke/vapors) produced in the combustion zone into the collector chamber. A slanted partition is used in some embodiments to partition the internal volume of the housing into the combustion and collector chambers and form the opening communicating between them.

In some other possible embodiments the device comprises a funnel-shaped partition configured to partition the internal volume of the housing into the combustion and collector chambers and form the opening communicating between them. Optionally, and in some embodiment preferably, the funnel-shaped partition is configured to provide a tapering passage that tappers from the combustion chamber towards the collector chamber. In some implementations the opening communicating between the combustion and collector chambers is configured to prevent introducing pressure conditions inside the combustion chamber due to suction through the mouthpiece. Optionally, a one-way-valve is provided in the opening communicating between the combustion and collector chamber.

In another aspect there is provided a method of delivering drug material to a user, comprising providing a drug delivery device having a magazine actuator and a heating unit mounted in a combustion zone thereinside, the method comprising introducing into the drug delivery device a magazine comprising a plurality of drug material batches so as to couple between said magazine and the magazine actuator for generating relative motion between the heating unit and the, and scheduling at least one drug take event for activation of said magazine actuator and said heating unit. In some embodiment the actuator is configured to advance at least one batch of drug material contained inside the magazine towards the combustion zone.

In some embodiments the method comprises reading an identifier of the magazine and determining the drug material contained inside the magazine based on the read identifier. Optionally, and in some embodiment preferably, the method comprises preventing use of the delivery device whenever determining that the magazine does not include an identifier or that the identifier of the magazine is not readable.

Optionally, the delivery device is associated with a specific user. In this case, the method can comprise determining if the drug material contained inside the magazine is authorized for use by said specific user. Optionally, and in some embodiments preferably, the method comprises preventing use of the delivery device whenever determining that the drug material contained inside the magazine is not authorized for use by the specific user of the delivery device.

In yet another aspect there is provided a magazine for provision of a drug material, the magazine comprising a plurality of cells, each configured to contain a batch of drug material, where the cells are structured and arranged to permit translation of at least one batch of drug material inside said magazine responsive to external actuations. BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

In order to understand the invention and to see how it may be carried out in practice, embodiments will now be described, by way of non-limiting example only, with reference to the accompanying drawings. Features shown in the drawings are meant to be illustrative of only some embodiments of the invention, unless otherwise implicitly indicated. In the drawings like reference numerals are used to indicate corresponding parts, and in which:

Figs. 1A to 1C schematically illustrate a drug delivery device 70 according to possible embodiments, wherein Fig. 1A shows an embodiment wherein drug material batches are advanced inside the device by gravity, Fig. IB shows an embodiment wherein drug material batches are advanced by a spring, and Fig. 1C shows an embodiment wherein drug material batches are advanced by a plunger mechanism;

Figs. 2A and 2B schematically illustrate a drug delivery device according to some possible embodiments, wherein Fig. 2A shows the delivery device with its magazine before insertion and Fig. 2B shows the delivery after inserting the magazine thereinto;

Fig. 3 schematically illustrates a drug delivery device comprising a liquid chamber in its collector chamber according to possible embodiments;

Fig. 4 schematically illustrates another possible embodiment of the drug delivery device;

Fig. 5 schematically illustrates a disk-shaped drug material magazine according to some possible embodiments;

Fig. 6 schematically illustrates a drug material magazine employing a helical conveyor mechanism according to some possible embodiments; and

Fig. 7 is a flowchart schematically illustrating a method of using a drug delivery device according to some possible embodiments.

It is noted that the embodiments exemplified in the figures are not intended to be in scale and are in diagram form to facilitate ease of understanding and description.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF EMBODIMENTS

One or more specific embodiments of the present disclosure will be described below with reference to the drawings, which are to be considered in all aspects as illustrative only and not restrictive in any manner. In an effort to provide a concise description of these embodiments, not all features of an actual implementation are described in the specification. Elements illustrated in the drawings are not necessarily to scale, emphasis instead being placed upon clearly illustrating the principles of the invention. This invention may be provided in other specific forms and embodiments without departing from the essential characteristics described herein.

The present invention provides drug delivery devices, and methods of use thereof, particularly suitable for combustible drugs. As will be described below, embodiments of the present invention can be used to implement drug delivery devices usable as smoking devices for inhaling tobacco smoke, and/or for medicinal use for inhaling medicinal cannabis, oil, and/or other plant material. It is however noted that delivery devices of the present invention are not limited for use with plant materials, and that other organic, inorganic, and/or chemical/synthetic substances, or any combination thereof, may be similarly used therewith.

Embodiments of the present invention may be adapted to provide control over the drug takes of a user utilizing the delivery device. In some embodiments the delivery device is programmed to schedule consumption of one or more batches of drug material placed inside a magazine configured to controllably advance one batch of drug material into a combustion zone comprising a heating unit configured to heat/combust at least some portion of the drug material batch.

Figs. 1A to 1C schematically illustrate a drug delivery device 7 according to possible embodiments, comprising a housing 7h, a heating unit 5r mounted in a combustion zone 5z defined inside the housing 7h. The housing 7h comprises an opening 5n having a movable cover 7r and configured for insertion of a magazine 8 containing drug material 17 thereinside, into the housing 7h.

In this non-limiting example the magazine 8 is a hollow and elongated element containing a predetermined amount of drug material 17 thereinside, and having an opening 8n configured to permit passage of certain amounted of the drug material 17. The magazine 8 is configured such that after it is inserted into the housing 7h its opening 8n is introduced into the combustion zone and positioned in the vicinity of the heating unit 5r. A stopper element 8s can be used for maintaining the magazine 8 in an operative state after it is inserted into the delivery device 7 through the opening 5n. In some embodiments the magazine 8 is configured to open a drug material passage of the opening 8n upon insertion into the housing 7h (responsive to placement of the stopper 8s over the opening 5n).

After the magazine 8 is inserted into the housing 7h a batch of drug material 17 is ejected through the opening 8n onto the heating unit 5r. in this non-limiting example the drug material 17 is advanced towards the combustion zone 5z by gravity forces. The device 7 can be then activated to combust the batch of drug material 17 introduced into the combustion zone by activating the heating unit 5r. After the heating device is activated the batch of drug material 17 is heated and inhalable substances (such us smoke and/or vapors) thereby produced can be inhaled through the mouthpiece 5m.

The device can be activated manually by the user (e.g. , using a push button - not shown). Alternatively, in possible embodiments a control unit 5c optionally provided in the device 7 is used to operate the device at predetermined scheduled times during the day/night. The heating device is configured in some embodiments to heat the drug material for a relatively short time periods (e.g. , few seconds) and automatically deactivate the heating thereafter.

Optionally, the activation time periods of the heating device are determined and controlled by the control unit 5c. In some embodiments, the control unit 5c is configured to determine suitable time periods for the activation of the heating unit 5r according to the drug material contained inside the magazine 8.

In some embodiments the heating unit 5r is made tiltable towards a waste container 8c configured to receive waste products from the combustion zone 5z. An actuation mechanism 7a can be used for this purpose to tilt the heating unit 5r towards the waste container 8c, for removing the combustion products 8w obtained thereon to the waste container 8c. The device 7 can be configured to automatically activate the actuation mechanism 7a after deactivating the heating unit 5r, and/or whenever needed. Alternatively, the actuation mechanism 7a is also operated by the control unit 5c. The actuation mechanism 7a is then activated to restore the heating unit 5r back to its horizontal operative state for receiving a new batch of drug material 17 propelled from the magazine 8.

As exemplified in Fig. IB, in some embodiments the magazine 8 comprises batch propelling mechanism utilizing a spring 8g to push the drug material contained thereinside towards the opening 8n. Fig. 1C exemplifies another possible embodiment wherein the housing 7h is configured to receive the magazine 8 in a tilted orientation corresponding to the tilted state of the heating unit 5r. This non-limiting example provides improved control over the amount of drug material propelled from the magazine onto the heating unit 8. Fig. 1C also exemplifies use of plunger mechanism 8t for manually propelling batches of drug material from the interior of the magazine 8 towards the combustion zone 5z. In some embodiments the plunger mechanism 8t is configured to permit predetermined steps for advancing the drug material, for example, by using a type turnable screw advancement mechanism.

Fig. 2 A schematically illustrates a drug delivery device 5 according to some possible embodiments. The delivery device 5 comprises a housing 5h having an opening 5n configured for insertion of a magazine 4 comprising a plurality of drug material batches 17, into the delivery device 5. The opening 5n is configured to enable insertion of the magazine 4 into the delivery device 5, and ejection therefrom, when so needed. The magazine 4 is inserted into the delivery device 5 through the opening 5n and advanced therethrough towards a combustion zone 5z, in which a heating unit 5r is operably mounted for heating a batch of drug material 17 of the magazine 4.

The magazine is configured to be coupled to an actuator 5a provided inside the delivery device 5 upon insertion thereinto. The actuator 5a is configured to move at least one batch of drug material provided inside the magazine 4 towards the combustion zone 5z. The coupling between the actuator 5a and the magazine 4 may be a magnetic coupling, mechanical coupling, pneumatic or hydraulic coupling. The actuator 5a can be implemented by an electrical motor, mechanical motor (using a spiral torsion spring mechanism), pneumatic motor, or hydraulic motor.

Optionally, and in some embodiments preferably, the actuator utilizes an electrical motor (not shown), mechanically coupled to the magazine by a gear system 5g, configured to deliver actuating motion from the engine to movable compartments 17 of the magazine 4. In some possible embodiments the actuator 5a is configured to activate the heating unit 5r whenever a batch of drug material 17 is at least partially introduced into the combustion zone 5z. The actuator 5a can be electrically connected to an external power source (not shown e.g. , electric grid), and/or internal power source (not shown e.g. , rechargeable or disposable batteries). In some embodiments the delivery device comprises a user interface 5u configured to receive user inputs and/or display data to the user. Thus the user interface 5u may comprise one or more push buttons and/or a keypad, and/or a display unit (e.g. , LCD), configured to receive and display data. Accordingly, a push button of the user interface 5u may be used to activate the delivery device 5 for a drug take, by advancing a batch of drug material 17 by the actuator 5a towards the combustion zone 5z, and activating the heating device 5r to heat the batch of drug material 17 entering the combustion zone 5z.

Fig. 2B shows the delivery device 5 with the magazine 4 inserted such that a batch of drug material 17 is introduced into the combustion zone 5z. In this state heating unit 5r can be activated to heat the drug material 17 e.g. , by pressing a bush button. A user can then inhale through a mouthpiece 5m inhalable substances, such as smoke and/or vapors, produced inside the delivery device 5 due to the heating of the drug material 17. In some embodiments, the heater unit 5r comprises a timer (not shown) configured to stop the heating of the drug material after some predefined time period. The timer may be configured to activate the actuator unit 5a after deactivating the heating unit 5r, to advance a new batch of drug material 17 into the smoking zone 5z.

In some possible embodiments the delivery device 5 comprises a control unit 5c, configured and operable to activate the device upon need (e.g. , using a push button), and/or according to scheduled events. The control unit 5c can be configured to receive user inputs via the user interface 5u and schedule activation events accordingly, for moving the drug material 17 contained inside the magazine 4 into the combustion zone 5z by the actuator 5a, and activating the heating unit 5r for a predefine time period, at selected day time and/or dates defined by the user.

Optionally, and in some embodiments preferably, the actuator 5a is configured to gradually introduce portions of the drug material batch 17 into the combustion zone 5z, when the heating device 5r is activated, in order to prevent rapid combustions thereof. Accordingly, the actuator 5a, and/or the control unit 5c, is configured in some embodiments to advance the drug material 17 into the combustion zone in predefined step sizes, to guaranty gradual exposure of the drug material to the heat produced by the heating device 5r.

In some embodiments a sensor unit 5s, comprising one or more sensor elements, provided in the delivery device 5, is used to sense the position of at least one drug material batch 17 inside the magazine 4, and generate position data indicative thereof. The position data can be used by the control unit 5c and/or the actuator 5a to perform a feedback loop configured to guarantee gradual advancement of the drug material batch 17 into the combustion zone 5z.

Optionally, and in some embodiments preferably, the magazine 4 comprises a unique identifier 4i, readable by the delivery device 5 and being indicative of the drug material contained thereinside. In some embodiments the identifier 4i is encoded in a barcode, RFID, NFC patch/device, magnetic strip, smart-chip, or a combination thereof, provide in, or on, the magazine 4. The sensor unit 5s is configured in some embodiments to read the data encoded in the identifier 4i and use the same to identify the drug material contained inside the magazine 4.

The control unit 5c is configured in some embodiments to verify that the drug material 17 contained inside the magazine 4 is permitted for use by the specific user of the delivery device 5 based on the data encoded in the identifier 4i. Accordingly, if the control unit 5c determines that the drug material 17 contained inside the magazine 4 is not permitted for use by the user of the delivery device 5, it disables activation of the heating unit 5r and/or of the actuator 5a, in order to prevent any drug takes by the user.

In some embodiments the actuator 5a is further operatively configured to carry out insertion of the magazine 4 into the delivery device 5, and ejection of the magazine 4 therefrom based on control signals received from the control unit 5c, and/or from the user the interface 5u. Alternatively, or additionally, the actuator may be configured to carry out automatic magazine insertion responsive to signals/data from the sensor unit 5s indicating that a magazine 4 is inserted into the device 5 through the opening 5n, and/or to carry our magazine ejection responsive to signals/data from the sensor unit 5s indicating that all of the drug batches of the magazine been consumed and thus emptied.

Optionally, and in some embodiments preferably, the control unit 5c is configured to schedule activation of events of the delivery device 5 according to the data encoded in the identifier 4i. In some embodiments, medical data records of the user stored in a memory unit 5j of the control unit 5c, is used by the control unit 5c to determine a suitable schedule of drug take events for the user according to the data encoded in the identifier 4i of the magazine and the medical condition of the user as indicated by the medical data records stored in the memory unit 5j. In some possible embodiments the delivery device 5 comprises a combustion chamber 5q configured to receive the drug material 17 and heat it by the heating unit 5r, and a smoke/vapor collector chamber 5t comprising the mouthpiece 5m and configured to collect smoke/vapors from the combustion chamber 5q. The combustion chamber 5q and the collector chamber 5t are arranged to prevent introduction of pressure changes inside the combustion chamber due to inhalation of the smoke/vapors collected inside the collector chamber 5t through the mouthpiece 5m. Particularly, the combustion and collector chambers are configured to prevent suction from the combustion chamber 5q due to suction through the mouthpiece 5m. This feature is of particular importance for preventing activities prohibited in certain religious holidays, such us igniting/making, transferring, and/or adding fire on Shabbat and Yom-Tov.

The delivery device 5 comprises one or more air vents 5v configured flow air into the device responsive to suction through the mouthpiece 5m. In this non-limiting example a slanted partition 5d is provided inside the delivery device 5 for partitioning its interior into distinguishable combustion and collector chambers. The partition 5d is configured to define an opening 5y between the combustion chamber 5q and the collector chamber 5t. Optionally, orientation of the slanted partition 5d is configured to guarantee that the smoke/vapors produced inside the combustion chamber diffusively migrates through the opening 5y into the collector chamber 5t.

Optionally, and is some embodiments preferably, the air vent 5v is located in a wall section of the collector chamber 5t and configured to flow air thereinto responsive to inhalation/suction through the mouthpiece 5m. In this way, the collected smoke/vapors can be drawn through the mouthpiece without introducing pressure changes inside the combustion chamber 5q in response. The air vent 5v can be configured to substantially prevent exit of the collected smoke/vapors from the collector chamber 5t, by setting a suitable angle of its apertures e.g. , using slanted blinds configuration.

Fig. 3 schematically illustrates a drug delivery device 5' comprising a liquid chamber 6 provided inside the collector chamber 5t. The liquid chamber 6 is configured to cause passage of the smoke/vapors inhaled through the mouthpiece 5m through liquid media 6w (water) contained thereinside. In order to guarantee passage of the inhaled smoke/vapors through the liquid media 6w, in some embodiments a pipe 6p is used to direct the inhaled smoke/vapors into the liquid media 6w. In this non-limiting example the internal end of the mouthpiece 5m is located inside the liquid chamber 6, above the liquid medium 6w, such that inhalation through the mouthpiece 5m draw the smoke/vapors collected inside the collector chamber 5t through the pipe 6p into the liquid media 6w. In effect, the drawn smoke/vapors typically generate a plurality of bubbles inside the liquid media propagating upwardly, due to buoyancy forces, towards the mouthpiece 5m. the interaction of the smoke/vapors with the liquid media 6w filtrates the inhaled substances/gasses and removes particles that may propagate therewith into the collector chamber 5t.

In some embodiments a one way valve 6v is provided inside the pipe 6v to prevent exit of the liquid media therethrough into the collector chamber 5t. Similarly, a one way valve (not shown) can be provided in the mouthpiece 5m to prevent exit of the liquid 6w therethrough. In this specific and non-limiting example the liquid chamber 6 is located adjacent the mouthpiece 5m, but of course other possible arrangements thereof can be used instead.

Fig. 4 schematically illustrates a drug delivery device 10 according to other possible embodiments. In this specific and non-limiting example an electric engine 13 is used to revolve a disk-shaped magazine 15 comprising a plurality of drug material batches 17. The control unit 5c is configured to controllably activate the electric engine 13 to introduce one of the batches 17 contained inside the magazine into the combustion zone 5z comprising the heating device 5r. The control unit 5c is configured to activate the heating device 5r for heating portions of the drug material 17 being moved into the combustion zone 5z. An air vent lOq can be provided near the combustion zone for introducing fresh air thereto. Optionally, and in some embodiments preferably, the control unit 5c is configured to gradually advance the batch of drug material 17 into the combustion zone 5z e.g. , by applying predefined rotation step sizes.

The magazine 15 can comprise an identifier (4i in Figs. 1A-B and 2), and the delivery device 10 may comprise suitable sensing means (5s in Figs. 1A-B and 2) configured to read data encoded in the identifier, and use the encoded data to schedule activation events, as described hereinabove with reference to Figs. 1A-B and 2. The opening 10η provided in the housing 5h of the device 10 is configured to allow insertion of the magazine 15 into the delivery device for coupling it with a rotatable shaft 13s of the engine 13. In some embodiments the delivery device 10 is partitioned by a funnel shaped partition lOp into a combustion chamber 10s comprising the magazine 15 and the heating unit 5r, and a smoke/vapors collector chamber 10c comprising the mouthpiece 5m. In this way, the opening lOe formed by the funnel shaped partition lOp provides that the smoke/vapors generated inside the combustion chamber 10s effectively migrate therethrough into the collector chamber 10c. A one-way-valve 11 may be provided in the opening lOe of the funnel shaped partition lOp, configured to close the opening lOe in response to suction through the mouthpiece 10m e.g. , using a check- valve configuration using a small passage blocking ball lis. In this way, the suction by the user through the mouthpiece 10m cannot introduce pressure changes inside the combustion chamber 10s, thereby preventing fire ignition/making, transferring, and/or adding, by the suction action of the user.

As exemplified in Fig. 4, the air vent 15 provided in the collector chamber 10c may be configured as one-way-passage vent configured change into an open state in response to suction through the mouth piece 10m. More particularly, upon suction through the mouthpiece 10m, the valve 11 is changed into a closed state, thereby preventing passage of gasses through the opening lOe into the collector chamber 10c and causing pressure buildup inside the collector chamber 10c. Consequently, rotatable sealers 15r are forced to open the air vent 15 for passage of fresh air into the collector chamber.

In some embodiments the mouth piece 10m can be changed between closed and open states. In the closed state, the passage through mouthpiece 10m is blocked and inhalation therethrough is prevented, and in its open state the passage is opened to permit inhalation therethrough. The drug delivery device 10 is configured in some embodiments to lock the rotatable sealers 15r of the air vent 15 when the mouthpiece 10m is in the closed state, and release the locking of the rotatable sealers 15r when the mouthpiece 10m is in the open state.

Fig. 5 schematically illustrates a possible embodiment of the disk-shaped magazine 15. In this non-limiting example the magazine 15 comprises a perforated support member 15b having a cylindrical wall 15w and a plurality of radially extending partitions 15p configured to form a plurality of cells 4b configured to receive the drug media batches (17). The holes 15h provided in the support member 15b are configured to prevent passage of the drug media therethrough, and permit sufficient air passage for the combustion of the drug media and/or release of the inhalable substances therethrough. A perforated cover member 15r can be used to close the magazine 15 after filling its cells 4b.

In some embodiments the magazine 15 is configured to be securely closed by the cover member 15r, to prevent the user from opening the magazine 15, and tampering with the drug material (17) contained inside it. Optionally, and in some embodiments preferably, the magazine is configured to permit opening and refilling its cells 4b only by authorized personals, such as, but not limited to, healthcare personals and, pharmacists. An identifier provided in, or on, (not shown) the magazine 15 may be configured as a breakable seal designed to break due to unauthorized removal of the cover 15r. In this way, if the user opens the cover 15r the breakage of the identifier will cause the control unit of the delivery device to prevent the use of the magazine 15, since it will not be able to read the encoded data of the identifier.

Fig. 6 schematically illustrates another possible embodiment of a drug material magazine 4. The magazine 4 configured as a helical conveyor comprising an elongated housing 25h having a rotatable helical conveying element 25t mounted for rotation about an axial shaft 25s thereof. The helical conveying element 25t forms a plurality of cells 4b that can be filled with drug material 17. The magazine 4 is configured to couple its shaft 25s with the actuator/motor upon insertion into the delivery device. In this way, controllable rotations of the shaft 25s convey batches of drug material 17 contained inside the magazine 4 towards an end side thereof 25e comprising a perforated/mesh region 25p at a bottom side configured to permit passage of the heat generated by the heating unit thereinto. An air vent 25v provided in the top side at the end side 25e can be used for passage or air into cell 4b at the end side 25e of the magazine 4.

Fig. 7 is a flowchart illustrating a method of using a drug delivery device according to some possible embodiments. The process is initiated when the user inserts a magazine in step SI into the delivery device through the magazine opening (e.g., 5n in Figs. 1-3 or 10η in Fig. 4). Thereafter, in step S2, the magazine identifier (e.g. , 4i) is read, and in step S3 it is determine whether the inserted magazine is authorized for use by the user of the delivery device. In some embodiments the identifier is indicative of the drug material contained inside the magazine, and if it is determined that the drug material is not allowed for use by the specific user, in step S9 the device is at least partially deactivated to prevent delivery of the drug contained in the magazine. Step S3 can be used to determine the existence or absence of an authorizing identifier on the magazine, and if it is determined that the identifier is absent, or unreadable e.g. , due to the user tampering with the magazine, the control is transferred to step S9, to prevent use of the device with an unauthorized magazine.

The at least partial deactivation of the delivery device set in step S9 is reset/removed in step S10 upon removal of the unauthorized magazine. After removal of the magazine in step S10 the control is transferred back to step SI upon insertion of a new magazine into the delivery device.

If it is determined in step S3 that the magazine is authorized for use by the user, the control is transferred to step S4 wherein drug take events by means of the delivery device and the inserted magazine are determined and scheduled. Whenever it is determined in step S5 that it is time to conduct a scheduled drug take event, the control is passed to step S6 wherein the actuator of the delivery device is activated for advancing a batch of drug material contained inside the magazine into the combustion zone. Thereafter, in step S7, the heating unit is activated for heating the batch of drug material introduced into the combustion zone and producing inhalable smoke/vapors, and/or other inhalable particles therefrom.

After a drug intake event it is checked in step S8 if the there are more drug material batches inside the magazine, and if so, the control is passed back to step S5 for carrying out additional scheduled drug take operations with the delivery device. Whenever determining in step S8 that all drug material of the magazine has been consumed, the control is passed to step S10 for removal of the emptied magazine, and thereafter for the insertion of a new magazine in step SI.

It should be understood that throughout this disclosure, where a process or method is shown or described, the steps of the method may be performed in any order or simultaneously, unless it is clear from the context that one step depends on another being performed first. For example, in the delivery devices shown in Figs. 1A to 1C the activation of the actuator performed in step S6 should be conducted before and/or after the activation of the heating unit performed in step S7.

As described hereinabove and shown in the associated figures, the present invention provides a drug delivery device and methods of use thereof. While particular embodiments of the invention have been described, it will be understood, however, that the invention is not limited thereto, since modifications may be made by those skilled in the art, particularly in light of the foregoing teachings. As will be appreciated by the skilled person, the invention can be carried out in a great variety of ways, employing more than one technique from those described above, all without exceeding the scope of the invention.