News & Events

HighTide Therapeutics Appoints Dr. Leigh MacConell as Chief Development Officer

February 01, 2021

SHENZHEN, CHINA and ROCKVILLE, MD, February 1, 2021— HighTide Therapeutics Inc. (“HighTide”), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company, today announced the appointment of Leigh MacConell, Ph.D., as Chief Development Officer. Dr. MacConell has over 20 years of drug discovery and development experience. Most recently Dr. MacConell served as Senior Vice President, Clinical Development at Intercept Pharmaceuticals where she provided strategic leadership for the global clinical development of obeticholic acid(OCA). Reporting to Liping Liu, Ph.D., founder and CEO of HighTide, Dr. MacConell will lead the company’s global clinical development, regulatory and quality functions, and will focus on driving the advancement of the company’s pipeline.

“This year represents a significant step for HighTide as we transition to a late-stage clinical development company,” said Dr. Liu. “We are very pleased that Leigh has joined our team. She brings critical experience and proven leadership which can help us move our pipeline forward in numerous indications.”

“HighTide has developed an impressive and dedicated team that is focused on addressing unmet needs of patients around the world,” said Dr. MacConell. “I am excited about joining the company and helping them advance its growing and maturing pipeline of novel therapeutics.”

Prior to joining HighTide, Dr. MacConell led clinical development programs at Intercept Pharmaceuticals which secured US, EU and Canadian approvals of Ocaliva ® for the treatment of primary biliary cholangitis (PBC), a rare chronic liver disease. She also was accountable for securing breakthrough status for OCA for the treatment of non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) with fibrosis and gaining consensus with US and EU regulatory authorities on precedent-setting clinical development plans in NASH. Prior to Intercept, Dr. MacConell served as Senior Director, Medical Research and Development at Amylin Pharmaceuticals, which was acquired by Bristol-Myers Squibb, where she served as clinical lead of their Type 2 Diabetes portfolio, securing multiple approvals for the treatment of Type 2 Diabetes, globally. Dr. MacConell has a Ph.D. in neuroendocrinology from the University of California, San Diego.

About HighTide Therapeutics and HTD1801

HighTide Therapeutics Inc. is dedicated to the development of innovative therapeutics for people suffering from non-viral chronic liver diseases, gastrointestinal diseases and metabolic disorders with large and unmet medical needs. HTD1801, an ionic salt of berberine and ursodeoxycholic acid, is a new molecular entity being developed for the treatment of NASH, primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC) and PBC. HTD1801 has received Fast Track designation from the U.S. FDA for both NASH and PSC, as well as Orphan Drug designation for PSC.For additional information, please visit

Jeffrey Dao


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