HMN-176 is a potential new cancer therapeutic known to retard the proliferation of tumor cell lines. Here, we show that this compound inhibits meiotic spindle assembly in surf clam oocytes and delays satisfaction of the spindle assembly checkpoint in human somatic cells by inducing the formation of short and/or multipolar spindles. HMN-176 does not affect centrosome assembly, nuclear envelope breakdown, or other aspects of meiotic or mitotic progression, nor does it affect the kinetics of Spisula or mammalian microtubule (MT) assembly in vitro. Notably, HMN-176 inhibits the formation of centrosome-nucleated MTs (i.e., asters) in Spisula oocytes and oocyte extracts, as well as from isolated Spisula or mammalian centrosomes in vitro. Together, these results reveal that HMN-176 is a first-in-class anticentrosome drug that inhibits proliferation, at least in part, by disrupting centrosome-mediated MT assembly during mitosis. Copyright © 2009 American Association for Cancer Research.