Drug companies with just one major drug fascinate me. They're not full-fledged pharmaceutical companies, but they've got the FDA stamp of approval that their developmental-stage brethren so desperately seek.

Let's take a look at a few and the songs they sing.

"Video Killed the Radio Star" by the Buggles
Trying to come up with new drugs that work better than those already on the market is tough work. Even the best-designed drugs run into issues with safety and efficacy.

Rather than fight an uphill battle, Abraxis Bioscience (Nasdaq: ABII) has designed a nanotechnology system to coat existing drugs with albumin, a natural human protein. The albumin-coated drug is often more soluble in the blood stream and is taken into the cell more easily than its naked counterpart, thus increasing the effectiveness of the drug.

Abraxis' only drug, Abraxane, is an albumin-coated version of paclitaxel, the active ingredient in Bristol-Myers Squibb's (NYSE: BMY) Taxol. Sales of the drug, which was approved for sale in 2005, are still improving with year-over-year sales up 86% last year. If it can get Abraxane approved to treat other cancers and push another albumin nanoparticle drug out of its pipeline, Abraxis will be a true generic drug killer.

"Eye of the Tiger" by Survivor
After Tysabri was pulled from the market in 2005, Elan's (NYSE: ELN) stock lost around 90% of its value, but the Irish drugmaker fought back and got the multiple sclerosis drug back on the market. The escalating sales of the drug by marketing partner Biogen Idec (Nasdaq: BIIB) has lead Elan's stock back to levels seen before Tysabri was pulled from the market.

Just like Rocky, Elan is a survivor, and that bodes well for the other drugs in its pipeline.

"It Takes Two" by Rob Base & DJ EZ Rock
Byetta was diabetes drugmaker Amylin Pharmaceuticals' (Nasdaq: AMLN) second approved drug, but it sure did grow much faster than its older brother, Symlin. Last year, sales of Byetta made up more than 90% of Amylin's revenue from products.

Ultimately, Byetta's sales will top out as the injectible drug competes against oral medications. That's why partners Eli Lilly (NYSE: LLY) and Alkermes have designed a once-weekly version of the drug that should be more patient-friendly. The drug works at least as well as the current twice-daily version, but likely won't start contributing to revenues until 2010.

Symlin could also make a comeback. It's a component of Amylin's weight-loss treatment, which looked good in its phase 2 trial. There's a huge market for weight-loss drugs, which could make things go right in the long term. Heck, it could even make them outta sight.

"I'm Too Sexy" by Right Said Fred
Unlike all the previous companies mentioned, Onyx Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: ONXX) doesn't have a pipeline. Then again, it didn't really look like it needed one.

After working well in kidney cancer and the hard-to-treat liver cancer, it looked like Onyx's Nexavar was a miracle drug pushing the company into the black for the first time. But then, Nexavar failed to show an effect in its clinical trial for non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), leading some to believe that Nexavar may be too sexy for its own good.

Onyx does have a chance to take another turn on the catwalk. It's currently testing Nexavar in multiple phase 2 trials for breast cancer (a very large market) and has a planned trial to test it in combination with surgery for liver cancer. If either of those can prove successful, they'll act as makeup to cover up its NSCLC blemish.

"I Wanna Be Rich" by Calloway
Calloway's 1990 hit could be the theme song of each of these companies as they strive to transform from being unprofitable to rock-star pharmaceutical companies, but it should also be the anthem of investors as they try to decide whether to invest in these companies or not.

Ultimately, the companies' potentials rely more on their pipeline of future drugs than whether they can increase sales of their current drug -- pipeline-less Onyx being the exception. Whether these one-hit wonders become big stars and grow into the next Gilead Sciences or become takeover targets, never to be heard from again, really depends on their ability to push out more drugs.

Motley Fool Rule Breakers is always on the hunt for hot drug stocks and other cutting-edge picks. Click here to see all of our latest discoveries with a free 30-day trial subscription.

Biogen is a pick of the Stock Advisor newsletter. Johnson & Johnson is a selection of the Income Investor newsletter.

Fool contributor Brian Orelli, Ph.D., believes he has destroyed all evidence of his performance of the Macarena. He doesn't own shares of any company mentioned in this article. The future of the Fool's disclosure policy is so bright it has to wear shades.