9cUAB30 is a synthetic analogue of 9-cis retinoic acid with chemoprevention activity in cell lines and animal models. The purpose of this phase I placebo-controlled, double-blinded, dose escalation study of 9cUAB30 was to evaluate its safety, pharmacokinetics, and determine a dose for future phase II studies. Participants received a single dose of study drug (placebo or 9cUAB30) on day 1 followed by a 6-day drug-free period and then 28 days of continuous daily dosing starting on day 8. Fifty-three healthy volunteers were enrolled into five dose cohorts (20, 40, 80, 160, and 240 mg). Participants were randomized within each dose level to receive either 9cUAB30 (n = 8) or placebo (n = 2). 9cUAB30 was well tolerated, with no dose limiting toxicities reported and no evidence of persistent elevations in serum triglycerides or cholesterol. Treatment-emergent grade 3 hypertension occurred in 1 of 8 participants at the 20mg dose level and in 2 of 8 at the 240 mg dose level, all considered unlikely related to study agent; no other grade 3 adverse events were observed. The AUC increased, as expected, between day 1 (single dose) and day 36 (steady state). Pharmacokinetics were linear in dose escalation through 160 mg. 9cUAB30 administered by daily oral dosing has a favorable safety and pharmacokinetic profile. On the basis of the observed safety profile and lack of linearity in pharmacokinetics at doses greater than 160 mg, the recommended phase II dose with the current formulation is 160 mg once daily.