In this study we report on the hit optimization of substituted 3,5-diaryl-pyrazin-2(1H)-ones toward potent and effective platelet-derived growth factor receptor (PDGF-R) β-inhibitors. Originally, the 3,5-diaryl-pyrazin-2-one core was derived from the marine sponge alkaloid family of hamacanthins. In our first series compound 2 was discovered as a promising hit showing strong activity against PDGF-Rβ in the kinase assay (IC50 = 0.5 μM). Furthermore, 2 was shown to be selective for PDGF-Rβ in a panel of 24 therapeutically relevant protein kinases. Molecular modeling studies on a PDGF-Rβ homology model using prediction of water thermodynamics suggested an optimization strategy for the 3,5-diaryl-pyrazin-2-ones as DFG-in binders by using a phenolic OH function to replace a structural water molecule in the ATP binding site. Indeed, we identified compound 38 as a highly potent inhibitor with an IC50 value of 0.02 μM in a PDGF-Rβ enzymatic assay also showing activity against PDGF-R dependent cancer cells.