Herein we describe the synthesis and evaluation of a series of novel 2,3-dihydro-1H-pyrrolo[3,2,1-ij]quinazolin-1-ones for in vitro cytotoxicity against three human cancer cell lines as well as for potential antimalarial activity against the chloroquine-sensitive strain 3D7 of Plasmodium falciparum. The title compounds were prepared via PdCl2-mediated endo-dig cyclization of 2-aryl-8-(arylethynyl)-6-bromo-2,3-dihydroquinazolin-4(1H)-ones. The latter were prepared, in turn, via initial Sonogashira cross-coupling of 2-amino-5-bromo-3-iodobenzamide with aryl acetylenes followed by boric acid-mediated cyclocondensation of the intermediate 2-amino-3-(arylethynyl)-5-bromobenzamides with benzaldehyde derivatives. The 2,3-dihydro-1H-pyrrolo[3,2,1-ij]quinazolin-1-ones 4a–k were evaluated for potential in vitro cytotoxicity against the breast (MCF-7), melanoma (B16) and endothelioma (sEnd.2) cell lines. All of the compounds except 4h and 4i were found to be inactive against the three cancer cell lines. Compound 4h substituted with a 4-methoxyphenyl and 4-fluorophenyl groups at the 3- and 5-positions was found to exhibit significant cytotoxicity against the three cancer cell lines. The presence of phenyl and 3-chlorophenyl groups at the 3- and 5-posiitons of the pyrroloquinazolinone 4i, on the other hand, resulted in significant cytotoxicity against vascular tumour endothelial cells (sEnd.2), but reduced activity against the melanoma (B16) and breast cancer (MCF-7) cells except at higher concentrations. The 2,3-dihydro-1H-pyrrolo[3,2,1-ij]quinazolin-1-ones 4a–l were found to be inactive against the chloroquine sensitive 3D7 strain of Plasmodium falciparum.