Naphthalimides are a class of compounds with high antitumor activity upon a variety of murine and human tumor cells. These compounds bind to DNA by intercalation of the chromophore and two of them, mitonafide and amonafide, were used in clinical trials. The therapeutic properties of these lead drugs were improved by designing bisintercalating agents. One of these, elinafide, showed intense in vitro and in vivo activity and is currently being used in clinical trials against solid tumors. In this paper, the history of elinafide is described.