5-Aryl-2,2-dialkyl-4-phenyl-3(2H)furanone derivatives were studied as a novel class of selective cyclooxygenase-2 inhibitors with regard to synthesis, in vitro SAR, antiinflammatory activities, pharmacokinetic considerations, and gastric safety. If, a representative compound for methyl sulfone derivatives, showed a COX-2 IC50 comparable to that of rofecoxib. In case of 20b, a representative compound for sulfonamide derivatives, a potent antiinflammatory ED50 of 0.1 mg kg-1 day-1 was observed against adjuvant-induced arthritis by a preventive model, positioning 20b as one of the most potent COX-2 inhibitors ever reported. Furthermore, 20b showed strong analgesic activity as indicated by its ED50 of 0.25 mg/kg against carrageenan-induced thermal hyperalgesia in the Sprague-Dawley rat. 3(2H)Furanone derivatives showed due gastric safety profiles as selective COX-2 inhibitors upon 7-day repeat dosing. A highly potent COX-2 inhibitor of the 3(2H)furanone scaffold could be considered suitable for a future generation COX-2 selective arthritis medication with improved safety profiles.