The recent Ebola virus (EBOV) outbreak in West Africa was the largest recorded in history with over 28,000 cases, resulting in >11,000 deaths including >500 healthcare workers. A focused screening and lead optimization effort identified 4b (GS-5734) with anti-EBOV EC50 = 86 nM in macrophages as the clinical candidate. Structure activity relationships established that the 1'-CN group and C-linked nucleobase were critical for optimal anti-EBOV potency and selectivity against host polymerases. A robust diastereoselective synthesis provided sufficient quantities of 4b to enable preclinical efficacy in a non-human-primate EBOV challenge model. Once-daily 10 mg/kg iv treatment on days 3-14 postinfection had a significant effect on viremia and mortality, resulting in 100% survival of infected treated animals [ Nature 2016 , 531 , 381 - 385 ]. A phase 2 study (PREVAIL IV) is currently enrolling and will evaluate the effect of 4b on viral shedding from sanctuary sites in EBOV survivors.