Inhibition of kinesin spindle protein (KSP) is a novel mechanism for treatment of cancer with the potential to overcome limitations associated with currently employed cytotoxic agents. Herein, we describe a C2-hydroxymethyl dihydropyrrole KSP inhibitor ( 11) that circumvents hERG channel binding and poor in vivo potency, issues that limited earlier compounds from our program. However, introduction of the C2-hydroxymethyl group caused 11 to be a substrate for cellular efflux by P-glycoprotein (Pgp). Utilizing knowledge garnered from previous KSP inhibitors, we found that beta-fluorination modulated the p K a of the piperidine nitrogen and reduced Pgp efflux, but the resulting compound ( 14) generated a toxic metabolite in vivo. Incorporation of fluorine in a strategic, metabolically benign position by synthesis of an N-methyl-3-fluoro-4-(aminomethyl)piperidine urea led to compound 30 that has an optimal in vitro and metabolic profile. Compound 30 (MK-0731) was recently studied in a phase I clinical trial in patients with taxane-refractory solid tumors.