Hamilton’s role in the history of vaccines dates back to the 1900s
Deep in the southwestern corner of Montana, sandwiched between Sapphire and Bitterroot mountains, is the tiny community of Hamilton, home to about 5,000 people. Known for its hunting, fishing, hiking, and easy access to skiing, Hamilton is also home to a facility that is essential to our vaccines business.
Our 193,000-square-foot Hamilton site is the sole manufacturing facility for Monophosphoryl Lipid (MPL), the world’s first bacterially-derived adjuvant. MPL is a crucial component in our vaccines for a wide range of diseases—including, human papilloma virus, hepatitis B vaccine, and vaccine candidates in development.
The team that works at the Hamilton site is not only deeply committed to their work, but to the region as well. Of the 200 employees who work at the facility, 50 percent have advanced degrees. Of those, 50 percent are from Montana schools. Many of the team members who join the organization stay for years. In fact, approximately 15 percent of the team have been at GSK’s Hamilton site for at least 15 years.
“We’re not easy to get to, and if you’re a city slicker, you’re not going to like it here,” said Pam Sager, Business Support Manager who has worked at the Hamilton site for 30 years and has had 10 different jobs while there. “But we are deeply proud of the importance our town and our site has for vaccines, a history that dates back to 1900, when scientists began researching Rocky Mountain spotted fever in the Bitterroot Valley of western Montana.”