ProCertus BioPharm, a Madison, Wis., company developing drugs to minimize the side effects of radiation and chemotherapy, raised $2.3 million in a first round of financing. The company will use the money to begin human tests of products such as DermX, which is supposed to prevent radiation-therapy induced dermatitis.

The round was led by Venture Investors, a significant Midwest-based healthcare and IT venture firm. Existing investors including the Novartis Venture Fund also joined the round.

These are serious players who presumably don’t throw their money around lightly, so it’s probably not wise to draw too many conclusions from ProCertus’ kitschy Web site, which is not only outdated (it refers to clinical trials planned for 2006 that apparently haven’t yet started) but inaccurate (it states that there are no competing products for treatment or prevention of cancer-treatment induced hair loss, dermatitis, or mucositis, a claim with which the folks at Amgen would presumably take issue).

The company’s announcement is here.