Abstract 17-Allylamino-17-demethoxygeldanamycin (17-AAG), a typical Hsp90 inhibitor derived from geldanamycin (GA), has entered Phase III clinical trials for cancer therapy. However, it has several significant limitations such as poor solubility, limited bioavailability and unacceptable hepatotoxicity. In this study, the anticancer activity and mechanism of SNX-25a, a novel Hsp90 inhibitor, was investigated comparing with that of 17-AAG. We showed that SNX-25a triggered growth inhibition more sensitively than 17-AAG against many human cancer cells, including K562, SW-620, A375, Hep-2, MCF-7, HepG2, HeLa, and A549 cell lines, especially at low concentrations (<1μM). It showed low cytotoxicity in L-02, HDF and MRC5 normal human cells. Compared with 17-AAG, SNX-25a was more potent in arresting the cell cycle at G2 phase, and displayed more potent effects on human cancer cell apoptosis and Hsp90 client proteins. It also exhibited a stronger binding affinity to Hsp90 than 17-AAG using molecular docking. Considering the superiority effects on Hsp90 affinity, cell growth, cell cycle, apoptosis, and Hsp90 client proteins, SNX-25a is supposed as a potential anticancer agent that needs to be explored in detail.