Ketchum has held the account for five years but declined to repitch. Roche would not disclose which agencies were on the short list. The drugs giant is expected to appoint an agency next month.
Ketchum continues to work on other Roche products, which make up part of the pharma company's portfolio of oncology drugs.
It has been the incumbent for its Herceptin drug for the past six years and has worked on its Avastic and Tarceva accounts for three years.
Last month Ketchum lost its grip on Wyeth rheumatoid arthritis drug Enbrel, which was awarded to Ruder Finn (PRWeek, 7 December 2007).
Two-year incumbent Ketchum did not say if it had been invited to repitch for Enbrel.