The G1 restriction point is critical for regulating the cell cycle and is controlled by the Rb pathway (CDK4/6-cyclin D1-Rb-p16/ink4a). This pathway is important because of its inactivation in a majority of human tumors. Transition through the restriction point requires phosphorylation of retinoblastoma protein (Rb) by CDK4/6, which are highly validated cancer drug targets. We present the identification and characterization of a potent CDK4/6 inhibitor, LY2835219. LY2835219 inhibits CDK4 and CDK6 with low nanomolar potency, inhibits Rb phosphorylation resulting in a G1 arrest and inhibition of proliferation, and its activity is specific for Rb-proficient cells. In vivo target inhibition studies show LY2835219 is a potent inhibitor of Rb phosphorylation, induces a complete cell cycle arrest and suppresses expression of several Rb-E2F-regulated proteins 24 hours after a single dose. Oral administration of LY2835219 inhibits tumor growth in human tumor xenografts representing different histologies in tumor-bearing mice. LY2835219 is effective and well tolerated when administered up to 56 days in immunodeficient mice without significant loss of body weight or tumor outgrowth. In calu-6 xenografts, LY2835219 in combination with gemcitabine enhanced in vivo antitumor activity without a G1 cell cycle arrest, but was associated with a reduction of ribonucleotide reductase expression. These results suggest LY2835219 may be used alone or in combination with standard-of-care cytotoxic therapy. In summary, we have identified a potent, orally active small-molecule inhibitor of CDK4/6 that is active in xenograft tumors. LY2835219 is currently in clinical development.