Acute Kidney Injury (AKI) is a global healthcare burden attributable to high mortality and staggering costs of dialysis. The underlying causes of AKI include hypothermia and rewarming (H/R), ischemia/reperfusion (I/R), mitochondrial dysfunction and reactive oxygen species production. Inspired by the mechanisms conferring organ protection in hibernating hamster, 6-chromanol derived compounds were developed to address the need of effective prevention and treatment of AKI. Here we report on the pre-clinical screening of 6-chromanol leads that confer protection during I/R to select compounds with favorable profiles for clinical testing in AKI. A library of 6-chromanols (n = 63) was screened in silico for pharmacochemical properties and druggability. Selected compounds (n = 15) were screened for the potency to protect HEK293 cells from H/R cell death and subjected to a panel of in vitro safety assays. Based on these parameters, SUL-138 was selected as the lead compound and was found to safeguard kidney function and decrease renal injury after I/R in rats. The compound was without cardiovascular or respiratory effects in vivo. SUL-138 pharmacokinetics of control animals (mouse, rat) and those undergoing I/R (rat) was identical, showing a two-phase elimination profile with terminal half-life of about 8 h. Collectively, our phenotype-based screening approach led to the identification of 3 candidates for pre-clinical studies (5%, 3/64). SUL-138 emerged from this small-scale library of 6-chromanols as a novel prophylactic for AKI. The presented efficacy and safety data provide a basis for future development and clinical testing.