We previously reported that Boc-Pro-Phe-N-MeHis-Leu psi [CHOHCH2]-Ile-Amp (1) is a potent and specific inhibitor of human renin in vitro. It was shown to resist degradation by selected proteases and a rat liver homogenate. It was shown to inhibit plasma renin activity and to reduce blood pressure in renin-dependent-animal models both by the intravenous and by the oral routes using dilute citric acid as vehicle. In an effort to discover compounds with improved pharmacological efficacy, we set out to modify the physical characteristics of this highly lipophilic renin inhibitor by incorporation of hydrophilic end groups. We report here a variety of water-solubilizing groups and the resulting structure-activity relationship of these compounds. They all maintain an extremely high level of enzyme inhibitory activity in vitro. Evaluation of these potent renin inhibitors in a human renin infused rat model suggests that some of these compounds exhibit improved pharmacological efficacy in vivo. This observation was further confirmed in the conscious sodium-depleted cynomolgus monkey. Importantly, the oral efficacy was demonstrated in a water vehicle in the absence of citric acid.