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All studies should be directed at identification of potential differences between a biosimilar drug and a reference drug, and on assessment of their significance (being there such differences).

Is this an acceptable phrase? I would have written "when such differences are detected" or "should there be such differences", but maybe the bolded phrase is also acceptable.

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    Short Answer: No, the phrase you used is not correct. Long Answer: "there being such differences" is what you may have meant to say. – Teacher KSHuang Jan 17 '17 at 8:12
  • Might you also have meant, "and an assessment"? – Teacher KSHuang Jan 17 '17 at 8:13
  • And, last comment, stylistically, this sounds like formal writing, in which case, I would try to not use parenthetical statements, but would use commas and alternate phrases as you had proposed, i.e., "an assessment of their significance, should such differences be detected." – Teacher KSHuang Jan 17 '17 at 8:14
  • Dear KSHuang -- I think "on assessment" is correct. The second part of the elliptical sentence comes out as "All studies should be directed ... on assessment of their significance" – Warren Ham Jan 17 '17 at 13:19
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    @TeacherKSHuang The writer has used inversion there to give the phrase a conditional meaning. – Araucaria Jan 17 '17 at 13:30
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+50

All studies should be directed at identification of potential differences between a biosimilar drug and a reference drug, and on assessment of their significance (being there such differences).

The phrase "being there such differences" seems like purposefully obfuscated meaning to me. And in the aforementioned case, being there such differences and being there no other such similarities, the parties to A shall... you get the idea.

There's nothing wrong with "if" in formal writing - I would write your sentence as:

All studies should be directed toward identification of potential differences between a biosimilar drug and a reference drug, and if there are differences, toward the assessment of their significance.

I don't like at "at" or "on" with directed in this context. As an answer on ELU explains, "directed at" has an aggressive tone. I hope that reprimand wasn't directed at me - I didn't do anything wrong! Directed "toward" is what I expect in formal writing. Note that "directed toward" is more common in AmE and I believe "directed towards" is more common in BrE and which you choose is a matter of style.

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    +1 with the change to "directed toward(s)". This adds the nuance of working together on a common goal. I'm not sure whether to use toward or towards because this frequently confuses me as well. – Andrew Jan 20 '17 at 4:40
  • For supplying toward it's +1, the OP's "at identification of..." sounded off to me but I couldn't come up with a neat solution. – Mari-Lou A Jan 23 '17 at 9:28
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The given sentence with this inversion does not sound natural to me. Maybe because it is a long sentence.

Another problem is the redundancy in the use of the word differences.

You can do away with both the awkwardness and the redundancy by sticking the explanatory phrase as close as possible to its source and removing the repeated word.

All studies should be directed toward identification of potential differences, should any exist, between a biosimilar drug and a reference drug and toward the assessment of their significance.

Also I agree that there's nothing wrong with using IF. Usually, the most effective sentence is the simplest one.

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All studies should be directed at identification of potential differences between a biosimilar drug and a reference drug, and on assessment of their significance (being there such differences).

All studies should identify and assess any differences between the biosimilar and the reference drug.

There's no need for the ponderousness. But if you are a fan of the ponderous:

All studies should have as their goal the identification and assessment of potential differences between the biosimilar and the reference drug.

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