Benzamide is a well known inhibitor of poly(ADP-ribose)polymerase, an enzyme involved in DNA repair. However, benzamide exhibited neuotoxicity in animals and hence, in the hope of overcoming this problem, benzamide riboside (BR) was synthesized. Our mechanism of action studies on BR suggested that the agent was being metabolized to its 5-monophosphate and then to its NAD analogue (BAD, benzamide adenine dinucleotide) that inhibits Inosine 5-monophosphate dehydrogenase (IMPDH). IMPDH is the rate-limiting enzyme of the branched purine nucleotide synthetic pathway that provides guanylates including GTP and dGTP. There are two isoforms of IMPDH, type I that is constitutively present in all cells, and type II that is inducible and is present in highly proliferating cells such as cancer. Ongoing studies with BR analogues suggest that they are more selective in inhibiting IMPDH type II. Our studies have characterized the metabolites of BR, especially its NAD analogue, BAD, by synthesizing this active metabolite by enzymatic means, and identifying its structure by NMR and mass spectrometry. We have partially purified IMPDH from tumor cells and have examined the kinetics of inhibition of IMPDH by BAD. We have also compared biochemical and cytotoxic activities of BR with tiazofurin and selenazofurin, that share similar mechanisms of action with BR. Our studies demonstrated that 2-3-fold more BAD is formed compared to TAD and SAD, the active metabolites of tiazofurin and selenazofurin, respectively. BR has demonstrated potent cytotoxic activity in a diverse group of human tumor cells, specifically more active in sarcomas and CNS neoplasms compared to tiazofurin or selenazofurin. Future in vivo animal studies should set a stage for determining its effectiveness in clinical Phase I studies.