In passionate appeal, Enamine CEO asks for pharma industry's help to isolate Russia and slow invasion
As Russia’s invasion of Ukraine continues, the CEO of a Ukrainian company responsible for supplying much of the pharma world with chemical building blocks is asking the industry for help.
In a direct call to action, Enamine CEO Andrey Tolmachov released a letter Saturday decrying Russia’s war and requesting help from pharma companies big and small. Tolmachov noted Enamine and Ukraine have received lots of support thus far, but argues it hasn’t been enough yet: He directly called on companies to pressure governments and NATO to establish a no-fly zone over Ukraine and continue isolating Russia economically.
“All the relationships, projects, collaborations with Russian companies/institutions/universities must be put on hold until the end of the war,” Tolmachov wrote in part. “The sooner this country is totally isolated, the sooner the war will end.”
The letter comes as Ukraine’s resistance to the Russian invasion proved stronger than many expected, reportedly slowing down soldiers and tanks through — among other things — the removal of road signs.
But over the last few days, Russia has escalated its attacks on Ukraine, launching missiles and artillery shells at a Holocaust memorial site and nuclear power plant. Attacks on civilian areas have also increased, with Ukraine alleging Moscow fired upon a “humanitarian corridor” meant to allow non-combatants to flee the country.
Though much of the world continues to levy harsh sanctions on Russia and its president, Vladimir Putin, the invasion has not slowed, Tolmachov wrote. He criticized the responses thus far as “pacification” and accused countries of imposing relatively toothless punishments after Russia illegally seized Crimea in 2014 and began backing separatists in eastern Ukraine.
“Now after the invasion, we see how the whole world is united and engaged in the tough sanctions, but they are too late to stop the aggression,” Tolmachov wrote. “We are glad to receive the financial support, weapons, medicines, but, it is not enough. Western countries are afraid of direct conflict with Russia or at least to close the sky for Russian planes and missiles.”
Tolmachov, a former university professor, founded Enamine in 1991 after the collapse of the Soviet Union, aiming to capitalize on selling compounds synthesized in the USSR to the US and European countries. Since then, Enamine and a handful of smaller Ukrainian players have developed extensive relationships with the pharma industry, to the point where the war has put hundreds of clinical trials and early stage R&D projects at risk.
In the big picture, such disruptions are relatively small compared to the loss of human life and possible war crimes. But Tolmachov’s call to action emphasized the point that everyone needs to play their part, arguing Russia will not be satisfied with only Ukraine.